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Council set to axe 17% of staff

3 July 07 14:21 GMT

Plans to cut 79 jobs at Suffolk County Council over three years - in a bid to save £4.1m - have been announced.

The proposals, which would see the council cutting 17% of the 464 full-time posts at the council, will go before councillors on 12 July.

It is part of its Securing the Future programme to improve services.

Union Unison said it believed the council was intent on "removing services from the council" and giving them to private and voluntary groups.

Paul Charlton, Unison branch secretary, said it was making workers feel "insecure" about their future at Suffolk County Council.

The council said the new structure would help to achieve significant cost reductions and improve the corporate nature of strategic decision-making.

It would get rid of duplication across departments and strengthen in-house capacity in areas such as programme and performance management and procurement, said the council.

It hopes most of the posts can be cut through natural wastage.

Last year the council announced 135 job cuts.

Jane Storey, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for resources and transformation said: "It's clear that we have to make some changes to the way our organisation is structured, when we are faced with funding gaps each year due to cost pressures and more people needing our services.

"Rather than a traditional cost-cutting programme, this is a way of making sure our organisation has clear and efficient processes, is reducing duplication and improving the way in which we work effectively to deliver the high quality services which people expect."

Jeremy Pembroke, leader of Suffolk County Council, added: "This proposed re-organisation is just one part of changes needed to ensure we 'live within our means'."

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