Cumbria council facing 600 job losses
Last updated at 10:50, Thursday, 17 October 2013
More than 600 jobs could be lost at Cumbria council over the next three years as it bids to make massive savings.
The losses will be made by voluntary redundancy, where possible.
The shock figure emerged this morning as the county council unveiled plans to make £24.4 million savings in the coming financial year.
Among the proposals are cuts to the fire service, introduction of on-street parking charges, charging for parking permits and cutting funding for subsidised bus routes.
Reductions in central government funding mean the county council has to cut £80m over the next three years – on top of £88m saved in the last three.
The authority needs to make the £24.4m savings during 2014/15 and this morning unveiled its budget consultation document.
Members of the cabinet are considering the report, which marks the start of public consultation on where cuts could be made. Those talks are due to run until January 20.
As well as internal savings, the county council’s consultation document, which identifies £40m savings over three years, leaving £40m more to be found, proposes:
- Reforming Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, including reviewing crew arrangements and removing one of the two fire appliances at fire stations in Workington, Whitehaven, Maryport, Penrith and Kendal. Saving = £540,000
- Charging £25 for residents’ parking permits. Saving = £250,000 during 2014/2015
- Cutting subsidised home-to-school/college transport for all 16 to 19-year-olds, which is a non-statutory service. Saving = £350,000 in first year
- Cutting funding for subsidised bus routes. Saving = £1.9m in 2014/2015
- Below inflation council tax rise of two per cent. Saving = £1.8m in first year
Council leader Stewart Young told the meeting the situation "has been challenging and it will continue to be challenging."
In the document, the council says: “The council has seen its funding reduced significantly and has already delivered savings of £88m – 2011/12 to 2013/14.
“Reductions in government funding mean further savings of almost £80m are needed over the next three years (2014/15 to 2016/17).
“All told, the savings add up to one in every four pounds which the council used to receive to pay for local services.
“The council will continue to do everything possible to minimise reductions to front line services by working more efficiently and reducing management and administrative costs.
“The scale of the savings which the council needs to make though, mean management and administrative savings alone will not be enough.
“This means the council has had to look closely at the services it delivers in the future and how and where it will need to do things differently to balance its budget with the limited resources available.”
Following public consultation, the draft budget will be presented to the full council for consideration on February 13, 2014.
First published at 10:36, Thursday, 17 October 2013
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
I hope that no one loses their job and that things get better soon. The government seems to be working hard to stabilize the woeful economy that they took over, there's no gain without pain.
I am an oncall firefighter at whitehaven. I am on call for 90 hours per week minimum and do 8 hours training per month plus other specialist training on top. My pay for this is Â£190/month. New starters get Â£95/month and don't get full pay for three years.
On the day we were told of the proposal to axe us I attended three incidents, the first at 01.00 in Whitehaven. The second was a kitchen fire in Frizington at 08.00 which the Frizington appliance could not attend because they didn't have a crew available, then at 20.00 we were turned out to Senhouse street Whitehaven with the Whitehaven fulltime appliance. On arrival we asked for address confirmation as the address didn't exist. Our control centre, which was moved to Cheshire to save money had sent us to the wrong town. We were stood down and two appliances were sent from Workington to Senhouse street Whitehaven. All in all four fire appliances were sent to the wrong town. Sadly this is not an isolated incident and wont come to light until someone loses their life.
On Wesnesday we met some county councillors to discuss the proposed cuts who had no idea how the fire service operates and how parlous the cover is. One of my colleagues printed off a sheet showing the availability of fire appliances in the county at that instant. There were seventeen unavailable due to crew shortages including Whitehaven Frizington and Egremont. So who is going to come to your help when you need them. Our chief and his cronies will tell you on 130k and a rangerover with expenses that an appliance will always respond but he doesn't say where from or how long they will take.
This county is set to lose seven fire appliances and their crews in these cuts, three in west Cumbria all to save 500k/annum equivalent to about seven senior managers, if that or two weeks wages for Wayne Rooney.
People must realise before it's too late what the impact of the cuts will be and must fight to stop them. They tell you we have no money but look at the millions they have spent recently on new fire stations and offices when the old ones were still functional and they buy specialist appliances at great cost that stand idle 99.99% of the time and plan to buy more.
Lastly their is one manager to every two fire fighters yet the proposal is to cut only fire fighters!!!
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