Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Cardiff council to cut 300 posts in budget cuts

Cardiff civic centre buildings
Council leaders hope to make budget savings of 14m

Council leaders in Cardiff have announced plans to axe 300 posts as the city aims to find £14m in savings.

Revealing its draft budget for the next year, the council said it hoped to avoid any compulsory redundancies.

Councillors said the focus for job cuts was in administrative areas and management.

In addition to the savings plans, the council said it would raise council tax by 2.9% for 2010/2011, taking Band D homes to £905.

However, leaders of the Liberal Democrat-Plaid Cymru run council insisted that this marked just a 50p a week increase for the average band households, and was in line with inflation.

Coun Mark Stephens, executive member for finance, said: "These are the largest savings the council has ever identified in one year and will mean that we will have to cut some 300 posts, with the vast majority in management and administration rather than the front-line.

"Through a combination of not filling existing vacancies, natural turnover, voluntary severance and early retirement, we will once again avoid the need for compulsory redundancies.

"We have been open with the people of Cardiff and our staff in facing up to the significant financial challenges that lie ahead."

Earlier this year, Powys council warned 400 staff could go as it faces a £33m budget deficit over the next five years.

Investment

Other councils are also trying to identify massive budget savings, including Gwynedd, which wants to save £16m over the next three years.

But civic leaders in Cardiff have insisted that they will continue to invest in city services, including an additional £10m investment in school buildings, £300,000 for social workers in children's services, and an extra £500,000 for special schools across the Welsh capital.

Council leader Rodney Berman said: "In recent months we have rightly recognised the significance of major projects such as the St David's development in taking forward our economic vision for the city.

"But we simply can't afford to lose sight of our aim to forge a more just society and deliver a sustained improvement in the quality of life in our capital.

"So I am delighted, for instance, that we are still able to demonstrate our commitment to take forward real change for our most vulnerable children."



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