SOMERSET County Council has unveiled a new wave of cuts amounting to £30million.
Far-reaching proposals due to be considered by the authority’s cabinet committee on Wednesday come hard on the heels of a raft of measures designed to save £43million that was approved last month.
Taunton’s Trades Council is calling on people across the county to support a lobby of the meeting outside Shire Hall at 9.30am.
Secretary Nigel Behan said: “Not content with slashing £43million from the budget at its November meeting, the county council is now preparing to take a further £30million from public services.”
The full council is then due to approve the measures on December 22.
Council leader Cllr Ken Maddock (Con) said the cuts were needed to tackle the debt mountain and to cope with a fall in the amount of cash the council receives from the Government.
He said: “Every saving we face is a really difficult choice, but we have no easy answer - we have to take tough decisions.”
Estimates show the authority was likely to be £410million in the red in the next three years, but the cuts will mean the debt is expected to fall to £340million.
To check out the agenda for the meeting, click on the Related Link below.
Proposed Cuts include:
- Scrap funding for PCSO supporting Trading Standards.
- Withdraw all funding for Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnerships.
£80,000 savings. Possible impact: increased crime and disorder, higher fear of crime among vulnerable people and could jeopordise council’s relations with police.
- Relocation of Somerset Waste Partnership to a partner office to save rent.
- Further promotion of home composting to divert items sent to recycling centres.
£81,000 savings, four redundancies. Impact: The county could lose its “leading edge”.
HIGHWAYS & TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT:
- Small reduction in minor carriageway, footway and kerb works.
- Additional income in traffic management.
£140,000 savings, two jobs. Risk: Increased legal claims against the council.
- Reduction in size.
YOUR SOMERSET NEWSPAPER:
- Cease publication.
£32,500 savings. Impact: less engagement with the public.
LEARNING DISABILITIES CONTRACTS:
- Renegotiation of hourly rates and night provision.
COMMISSIONING CARE & SUPPORT:
- Combining commissioning of care and support.
£120,000, four staff.
COMMISSIONING NIGHT CARE:
- Redesigning night care for people with learning disabilities.
£250,800 savings, 45 posts.
- Reduce heads of service from four to three.
£83,600 savings, one position.
- Management and service level reductions in scientific services and physical regeneration.
£100,000 savings, two jobs. Impact: reduction in testing and analysis of food stuff, asbestos and environmental areas.
- Reduction in legal expenditure.
- Assimilation of staff terms and conditions.
- Staff reductions in Rights of Way due to reduced maintenance of the network.
- Savings from joint working with district councils.
- Cutting a grant.
£133,000 savings, 12 posts. Risk: increased likelihood of legal challenges.
STAFFING, SUPPLIES AND SERVICES AND SURVEYS:
- Admin post to go.
- Reduce spending on surveys, supplies and services.
£39,000 savings, one post.
- Reduce secretarial post.
£42,300 savings, one job.
- Reconfiguration of service.
- Cuts to supplies and services budget.
£30,000 savings, two posts.
- Increased income from approved premises weddings.
- Staff leavers replaced by ‘ceremony-only’ staff on lower grade.