|Council To Consult Residents, Staff and Unions On 'Saving Options'
£35.8m worth of cuts proposed over next two years with more planned for future
At a special meeting of Hounslow Council's Executive on Monday 20th December, members agreed to release the savings options set out here for consultation with residents, staff and trade unions. A special Savings Consultation document will be published on 7 January 2011 and sent to residents as well as being available online. The deadline for consultation is the 24th January.
Following the provisional local authority finance settlement announcement, which shows a cumulative grant reduction of £35.8M over the next two years, significant savings are required.
Further savings will also be needed for 2013/14 and 2014/15.
Up to £1,525k of possible savings in Corporate Services have been identified including reducing the number of Committees and reviewing the existing Area Committee arrangements. If agreed, the Committees could be abolished as soon as May 2011.
Also included in the proposals are cuts in pay and allowances which would affect all staff and could save the Council up to £3,557.7k. There would be no sick pay for days 1 to 3 of illness and long term sickness pay would be reduced. Merit bonuses would be scrapped and where possible specialisms could be shared with other local authorities thus reducing costs. Civic Centre front office opening times could be reduced to 9.00 to 4.30 cutting staff hours by 30 mins per day.
Up to £300k of possible savings have been identified by reducing the Borough's Park maintenance contract with Laing but this will mean a reduction in service. According to the proposals, the options have not been finalised but are likely to mean a reduction in manned parks, reducing bedding and removing shrub beds. Litter collection, grass cutting in key parks, dog fouling and play maintenance - all of which are high priorities for residents - will be protected.