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Jobs to go as Denbighshire County Council sets its new austerity budget

Published date: 04 February 2013 |
Published by: Helen Davies
Read more articles by Helen Davies


 

JOBS at Denbighshire County Council will go this year if the authority’s budget plans are approved.

A rise in council tax of two per cent is also planned and stringent austerity measures mean just one area of the council will not be facing cuts this year.

The council’s draft budget for 2013/14 was debated at a cabinet meeting earlier this month as the authority looks to make savings of £3 million.

Some of the measures identified by the council include staff reductions and a management restructure in the planning and public protection department to save £90,000.

Also on the cards is a reduction in senior salaries across the council to save £17,000 and job cuts in the housing and community department worth £10,000.
“2013/14 will be another challenging year for the council’s finances,” says the budget report.

“The budget as proposed is realistic and deliverable. It makes sufficient savings to balance our position, protects front line services from major reductions and allows investment of £1million into council priorities.

“This is delivered with a two per cent increase in council tax which compares to general inflation running at around 2.7per cent.”

The council found out in December it would be receiving £300,000 less than expected in a grant from Welsh Government.

The authority’s capital funding, which it uses to maintain buildings, was cut by 15 per cent (around £900,000) to £4.867million.

But it’s not all bad news, council bosses are proposing a pay increase for staff this year of around one per cent.

Schools will be protected from cuts under the budget and although adult and children’s social services are expected to make savings, these will be reinvested in services.

Asked if the “reduction in number of staff” detailed in the report would mean redundancies or not replacing staff when they leave the authority, a spokeswoman for the council said: “Services have proposed savings as part of the council's financial strategy to reduce expenditure without a detrimental impact on front line services.

“In the last two years, the council has had to make savings of almost £10m with a further £3m required next year.

“The proposals, in some cases, include not replacing posts that become vacant and some of the other proposals include delivering services in different ways. “However, each proposal is assessed individually in terms of the impact on the service, the potential saving it could deliver and the impact on staff.

“The council will always try to protect existing staff where possible.”

In response to the increase in council tax, the spokeswoman said: “Although no decision has been taken yet, we are looking at a two per cent rise ,which we expect will be one of the lowest in Wales.

“From discussions with members it was very clear, that they wished to keep any rise as low as possible, and that we protect front line services and invest in our priorities.”

Now the draft budget has been approved by the council’s cabinet it will be passed to full council who will decide if they want to give it the go-ahead.

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