Jobs to be axed at West Norfolk Council

PUBLISHED: 14:39 30 July 2010

West Norfolk Council

West Norfolk Council

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JOBS will go at West Norfolk Council as £5m of spending cuts are found in the biggest spending slash the council has ever faced, its leader warned last night.

JOBS will go at West Norfolk Council as £5m of spending cuts are found in the biggest spending slash the council has ever faced, its leader warned last night.

Nick Daubney said they were acting quickly to identify savings and there would be “no sacred cows” in a sweeping spending review across every council department.

The government has indicated council grants could be slashed by between 25pc and 40pc as they battle to bring down the budget deficit.

In 2004, 100 people lost their jobs at West Norfolk Council. But Mr Daubney said that this spending review would be the biggest cost reduction exercise the council had ever undertaken.

A total of £1m of cuts have already been made in service reviews in 2009. The King’s Lynn Guildhall theatre will become a hall for hire and the council is now looking for a business or individual to operate and manage the Princess Theatre in Hunstanton.

“We must deal with this now. It is an enormous task; upwards of £5m of savings need to be found, but I am confident we will achieve this”, Mr Daubney said.

Future plans include sharing service provision with North Norfolk District Council and Great Yarmouth Council and the joint procurement of rubbish collections with North Norfolk District Council. There are also plans to create a trust for arts and leisure facilities.

But Mr Daubney said that there would be job cuts among the 655 employees. He said staff would be given the opportunity to reduce their working hours and they would be seeking volunteers for redundancy.

“Many of the options we are exploring entail working in partnership and working in different ways, which will bring redeployment opportunities for some staff”, he said.

“We now await the coalition government’s spending review, but whilst it is likely to be late December before guidance is firm, it is widely reported that cuts could, in reality, be nearer 25pc immediately with further reductions perhaps taking us to 40pc over next three years.

“As a council we need to deal with this now. We have an immense task of identifying well over £5m worth of savings.”

He added: “I, as leader am confident. I do not dismiss the scale of the task in hand, but we have a proven record of delivery. The district, the county the country needs to meet financial obligations and we will deliver.”

The programme of spending cuts will be presented to the West Norfolk Council cabinet on September 21.


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