Ealing Cuts - 300 Jobs May Go

Council Leader warns there may be more cuts to come

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At least 300 council jobs are at risk as the authority attempts to cut the budget by £49.5million.

On Tuesday, 30 November, the council’s Cabinet will consider detailed proposals for £28.6million worth of savings and will also receive outline plans for an additional £20.9million of reductions that are being drawn-up.

The plans were put together after the government reduced council’ grants by around 28%.

The new proposals are on top of the £5.5million of budget reductions already agreed by the council in September.

The costs

Under the proposals more than a third of the £28.6million cuts would be found through improving efficiency – that delivers a £9.8million saving. Also proposed are £2.4million worth of savings from reducing management costs through restructuring, £2.2million from reducing money spent on contracts and £1.7million generated by increasing the amount charged for some services. The remaining £6million or 21% would be found through changing how some services are delivered. The council is also considering plans to make a series of investments to improve the efficiency of services, which will help generate a £6.5million saving.

The jobs

Around 300 council staff could be put at risk of redundancy and consultation has already begun with those employees likely to be affected. The council is making every effort to minimise the number of staff adversely affected. Many employees are being offered voluntary redundancy and the council is putting restrictions on recruitment to vacant posts and reducing its use of agency staff, so it is anticipated the number of compulsory redundancies will be significantly lower.

Day Care Centres

The Cabinet will also discuss the results of a consultation with service users and staff at the Albert Dane and LINKS centres and make a decision about whether they should be closed. If the proposals go ahead eligible people will be given funding to choose which services they would like to purchase to meet their needs.

Plans for how a further £20.9million budget reduction could be found from next year will also be presented to the Cabinet, but that amount is expected to increase after the council is notified in December of exactly what its grant settlement will be. Where appropriate the council is committed to consulting people on those decisions.

Council Tax Freeze

To help residents and the local economy the council has already pledged to freeze council tax again next year.

Prepare For Further Cuts

Council Leader, Councillor Julian Bell, said:

“We are facing deeper cuts to our budgets than we thought and although the full situation is still not entirely clear, we have acted quickly and planned properly.

'' We know we will need to save at least £55million, but we won’t know until December exactly how much our main grant from the government will be. We expect we will need to make even greater savings in the next three years and could face further cuts to specific grants.

“We are doing everything we can to protect frontline services, by improving efficiency, restructuring departments and cutting out any non-essential spending.

''I won’t pretend that residents won’t notice the cuts we will have to make and that is why we have committed to consulting people on the really tough choices. We are also doing all we can to take a fair approach, so that no one group bears an unfair burden.”






18 November 2010