BREAKING NEWS Two hundred jobs could be axed from county council

SUS-150812-150509001
SUS-150812-150509001
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Up to 200 jobs could be axed from East Sussex County Council as councillors battle to save a further £24 million from the county’s budget.

And essential services such as community care, drop-in children’s services and services for carers and children with special needs could also be targeted to save money.

Councillors say they will consider ‘all options’ after a report to the council’s cabinet revealed the authority had to save an extra £6.5 million in 2017-18 – in addition to the £17.3 million savings already planned for the year.

To help make the savings, largely the result of cuts in Government funding and increased needs of residents say ESCC, the council says closer work with partners and new ways of providing services are vital.

Hower, it warned that a continued impact on frontline services is ‘unavoidable’.

Options for savings could include reviewing community care, drop-in activity at children’s centres, services for carers and children with special educational needs and grass-cutting.

Cllr David Elkin, lead member for resources, said: “We won’t know exactly how much money we’ll have to spend next year until after the Chancellor’s autumn statement in November.

“However, the continuing tough economic climate means we will face more big challenges and will have to look at all the services we provide to see how we can make the savings we need.

“The proposals in the report are a starting point and we will continue to work closely with partners and communities, and to consider alternative ways of saving money.

“We’ve already shown we can be trusted to make every penny count and make the best possible use of the resources we have, and we will still be spending at least £350 million a year providing the services people need.”

The savings will be managed within the council’s three-year financial strategy to reduce spending by £70 million to £90 million by 2019.

The council says it will focus resources taking into account its priorities of protecting the vulnerable, boosting the economy, helping people help themselves and making the best use of resources.

It is warning up to 200 jobs could be lost as it reduces spending over three years, but aims to avoid compulsory redundancies.

The latest savings forecasts were discussed by cabinet today (October 11), with a final decision on the budget to be taken by the full council in February.