1,600 jobs to be axed at county hall

County Hall, Matlock.
County Hall, Matlock.

Derbyshire County Council has announced it is to axe 1,600 jobs after it needs to find savings of £157m over the next five years.

The job losses represent around ten per cent of the council’s workforce, excluding staff employed in schools.

Labour leader Ed Milliband in Ilkeston. Derbyshire Labour group leader Anne Western.

Labour leader Ed Milliband in Ilkeston. Derbyshire Labour group leader Anne Western.

The authority revealed a £10.5m shortfall in spending plans which means it needs to make £47.2m of savings in 2014 to 2015.

Leader of the Labour-run authority Cllr Anne Western said: “This is an impossible situation forced upon us by the Coalition Government. We are faced with making devastating cuts to our services.

“We requested a meeting with Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, but he has refused to meet us.”

These reductions are part of a £30m increase in Government spending cuts, taking the total over the next five years to £157m – almost a third of the council’s spending.

Proposals on how the council will meet the shortfall include:

- Widespread reductions in management, back office and accommodation costs affecting all services.

- Increased charges for services, consultations on the closure of some centres and shorter opening hours.

- Consultations on ending subsidies to some services, reducing grants to voluntary organisations and cutting back on training and care thresholds.

In addition, the report shows a range of other cost-cutting measures including sharing services with other councils, disposing of buildings and integrating health and social care.

The authority said it could potentially make reductions in adult care, cultural and community services, jobs, economy and transport and health and communities.

After approval by cabinet next week, the council’s budget will be considered by all councillors on October 2.