EXCLUSIVE: Derbyshire County Council plans hundreds of job cuts over next year

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Derbyshire County Council plans to make up to 260 job cuts over the next year, the Derbyshire Times has learned.

The Tory-led authority - which is one of the largest employers and providers of services in Derbyshire - has lost 1,700 jobs since 2010.

Since that year - which is when the Conservatives' austerity programme started - the council has slashed its budget by £200million.

Earlier this month, the authority agreed to increase council tax by 4.99 per cent and make £12m in savings in 2018-19.

A council spokesman told the Derbyshire Times: "It is currently forecast that there will be up to 260 job reductions in 2018-19.

"Compared to 2010 we now have around 1,700 fewer jobs. This reduction will not primarily have been as a result of redundancies.

"Compulsory redundancies are always a last resort. Our services have been managing job vacancies for many years so that when someone leaves their job to move on to work for another employer, to retire or for any other reason, they are only replaced if absolutely necessary. We also seek to move people into vacant posts within the council if their job is at risk of redundancy.

"Across all the services that the council provides there have been considerable changes made since 2010 in order to achieve savings required to meet our budgetary obligations while protecting frontline services."

This morning the council announced that it will review all its services. Some of them could be outsourced to external organisations.

Bosses will look at a number of services - including libraries, learning disabilities and highways and fleet management - to pilot an 'ambitious new approach'.

Councillor Barry Lewis, leader of the council, said: "The role and shape of public services has changed dramatically and we face significant challenges in providing the services local people want and need.

"What we need is an ambitious plan for the future, focused on getting the best results for our residents, whether that's by the council delivering a service itself, or by an external organisation.

"We need to be bold and innovative and have a commercial mindset.

"At the moment around 50 per cent of council services are already run on our behalf by the voluntary sector, parish councils, public-private partnerships, private contractors or charitable and community interest companies.

"We will be looking at all these types of delivery models and more in the future, including sharing or trading services with other councils."

READ MORE: All Derbyshire County Council services to be reviewed

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