County council to axe 1,600 jobs

Derbyshire County Council’s controlling Labour group is set to axe 1,600 jobs.

The losses represent around ten per cent of the council’s workforce, excluding schools.

The authority revealed a £10.5 million shortfall in spending plans which means it needs to make £47.2 million of savings in 2014/15.

Council leader Anne Western said: “This is an impossible situation forced upon us by the Coalition Government. We are faced with making devastating cuts to our services.

“We requested a meeting with Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, but he has refused to meet us.”

These reductions are part of a £30m increase in Government spending cuts, taking the total over the next five years to £157 million - almost a third of the council’s spending.

Proposals on how the council will meet the shortfall include:

Widespread reductions in management, back office and accommodation costs affecting all services.

Increased charges for services, consultations on the closure of some centres and shorter opening hours.

Consultations on ending subsidies to some services, reducing grants to voluntary organisations and cutting back on training and care thresholds.

In addition, the report shows a range of other cost-cutting measures including sharing services with other councils, disposing of buildings and integrating health and social care.

The authority said it could potentially make reductions in adult care; cultural and community services; jobs, economy and transport and health and communities.

After approval by cabinet next week, the council’s budget will be considered by full council on October 2.