Council staff await jobs decision
By Richard SmithCOUNCIL staff are anxiously awaiting the results of an efficiency drive which could lead to job cuts.A “top to bottom” review has been taking place at Woodbridge-based Suffolk Coastal District Council, designed to ensure the authority is acting efficiently and effectively.
By Richard Smith
COUNCIL staff are anxiously awaiting the results of an efficiency drive which could lead to job cuts.
A “top to bottom” review has been taking place at Woodbridge-based Suffolk Coastal District Council, designed to ensure the authority is acting efficiently and effectively.
But the council is also facing a budget shortfall in the next two to three years and does not want council taxpayers to bear the brunt of the difference between income and expenditure.
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Therefore, staff could be asked to take early retirement, although the council has stressed it was not about to “slash jobs”.
Suffolk Coastal District Council is spending tens of thousands of pounds on consultants, who started work almost a year ago on analysing the authority's work.
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That will lead to various proposals, due to be unveiled later this month, about the council's future. They will be discussed by a committee, the cabinet and then the full council.
A council spokesman said: “'It is about how to make services more efficient and effective and it recognises the fact that we know we will have financial problems in the next two to three years.
“The whole point of the exercise is to identify how savings can be made - we know that there will be a big gap in income compared with anticipated expenditure, but it is not a case of service slashing or attempting to slash jobs either.”
He stressed there was nothing secret about the council's ongoing review and there had been regular discussions by councillors at committee level.
Last year the council was criticised by staff for spending £15,000 on a computer programme to deal with their ideas for saving money.
At the time the council needed to make £665,000 savings and it was predicted more than £1million would need to be saved in future years.
There are also steadily mounting costs associated with the controversial scheme to redevelop the south seafront scheme in Felixstowe, where the submission of a planning application was delayed many months by protracted negotiations and the need to commission consultants.