Cuts plans would see hundreds of jobs go and council tax rise - The Leamington Observer

Cuts plans would see hundreds of jobs go and council tax rise

Laura Kearns 9th Dec, 2016 Updated: 9th Dec, 2016   0

THERE could be increases to council tax and hundreds of jobs lost if proposals are given the green light.

Warwickshire County Council has been told it must save some £67 million over the next three years.

And in a draft budget proposal by the Conservative group, they have revealed plans for 247 jobs to go and for only the minimum level of reserves to be maintained.

While money in reserves would be set aside for redundancy pay, services would have to use their own budgets and reserves to cover any investments needed.

Council tax would be raised by 1.99 per cent each year, with an additional two per cent adult social care levy imposed on top of that during the first year.

Money raised through the levy would provide investment in extra care housing for the elderly.

And to support the county’s most vulnerable children they would hire 40 children’s social workers.

The group say the plans will ‘help citizens to help themselves’ but they would not ‘shrink from implementing difficult decisions’.

Council leader Izzi Seccombe said: “Our proposals continue the path we have already taken, to invest in our Warwickshire economy knowing how enormously successful this has been to date. We are ensuring that we look after the most vulnerable people within our society, at a time when Warwickshire County Council has to face falling settlements and recognising that over three years up to 2020, we will have to make savings of £67m.”

The budget suggests setting up a £5 million ‘transformation fund’ to invest in staff who can support the council changes.

The report says: “We recognise the delivery of the savings plan will not be easy. The council will be a very different place by 2020 and we need to invest to ensure it is fit for purpose.

“We will set up a transformation fund to invest in our workforce so they have they capacity to deliver the considerable and increasingly complex transformation agenda required.

“We recognise implementation will be complex and an appropriately skilled support staff is crucial.”

The group say their plans would enable the council to scrap some suggested saving options including axing the jobs of 60 firefighters, reducing highways maintenance and cutting school transport services.

The plans will be discussed between parties before a council meeting in February.

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