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Page last updated at 09:43 GMT, Wednesday, 16 February 2011
District council cuts in Gloucestershire



Cuts of £114m in council spending in Gloucestershire have been approved by Gloucestershire County Council.

The proposals, outlined below, were voted on at a full council meeting on Wednesday 16 February 2011.

Headline figures
  • 12 youth centres will close
  • 10 libraries will close
  • Four day care centres will close
  • Farm land and assets will be sold
  • 1,000 jobs will go
  • £2m will be cut from bus subsidies

Some key areas

The council

  • Over the next four years its total staff will be reduced by 1,000 people
  • The number of senior managers will be reduced by at least 35% which will save a minimum of £5m
  • Staff pay will be frozen for the next two years (under nationally negotiated conditions)
  • Members' allowances frozen for two years
  • Freeze council tax for 2011/12 and absorb costs of inflation during that year
  • Reducing back office and sharing services
  • Consolidating office accommodation and selling land no longer needed

Libraries

  • Proposed budget was £4.8m but an extra £500,000 has been added which takes the budget up to £5.3m. The budget for 2010/11 was £5.8m
  • Cinderford Library was originally earmarked as one of 11 possible closures unless a community group took it over. It will now run as a Library Express, opening for 32 hours a week
  • Six of the new "library express services" will now open for longer than planned in the original consultation - they are Bishops Cleeve (from 3.5 days up to 6 days opening), Quedgeley, Hucclecote, Longlevens, Up Hatherley, Charlton Kings (all up from 3.5 days to 5 days)
  • There will be a one-off extra £100,000 to buy new books and other stock
  • Council says it has had interest from community groups interested in running all ten of the libraries which could be closed
  • Council is now offering £10,000 for each library which could be run by the local community to help the group get plans up and running
  • A pot of £50,000 has been set up to help 10 libraries facilitate the transition

Youth services

  • Looking to save around £3.6m
  • Stepping back from providing a traditional buildings-based youth service. Focusing efforts on vulnerable teenagers and stepping back to allow the voluntary sector to take a bigger role with youth activities. This includes increasing funding to district councils and handing buildings back to the community. Spending on "at risk" youth will increase by £1.3m
  • Currently 17% of the county council's youth budget is spent on running youth centres across the patch. The youth service operates from 32 bases, including 12 youth centres which belong to the council. These will be offered to the community to run services for young people
  • In total £300,000 will be given to district councils to build on their existing work with the voluntary sector in providing activities for young people

Day care

  • Four day centres will be closed - Pear Tree at Chipping Campden (for adults with learning disabilities), Newholme in Cirencester and Hatherley Day Service in Gloucester (both for older people and people with a physical disability) and Glebe at Dursley (for older people with dementia).
  • There will be further consultation regarding the Dursley Training Unit (for adults with learning disabilities)
  • People who use the services will move on to personal budgets
  • The 132 people affected by the closures will be offered alternative services
  • Total savings around £2m over three years
  • The five day centre closures are planned to take place in the early part of the 2011-12 financial year, following a period of consultation with users, their carers, staff and other stakeholders

Community police

  • Continuing to fund 63 police officers until March 2013

Transport

  • Currently the council provides subsidies for more than 150 bus services all across the county - looking to cut its subsidy by £2m
  • A review is being conducted into which routes could stop being subsidised

Highways

  • Current budget of £28.9m, which is used to repair and maintain 5,397km of roads and keep them open in bad weather, provide traffic signals, maintain street lighting and bridges, deal with flood and drainage issues, provide a rights of way and road safety service
  • 146 frontline staff are employed who work out on the network and another 37 staff who perform administrative or back office functions. In future the Highways budget will be reduced to £21m and focus will shift to maintenance and public safety

School transport

  • At present, the county council spends nearly £14m per year transporting around 10% (9,500) of the children and young people who travel to school and college each day
  • The current system funds transport for students from Catholic schools and grammar schools, but only in certain parts of the county. This is at the discretion of the council and is not required by law
  • The council is proposing to withdraw assistance for new primary school pupils attending Catholic schools from 2011 and new secondary pupils attending Catholic and grammar schools from 2012. This would not affect existing pupils who currently receive assistance, unless they change schools
  • Neither would it affect those pupils who live more than three miles away from their nearest school or many who are from low-income families. They would continue to qualify for free transport under current legislation

Property and land

  • Plan to generate up to £45m from rationalisation of buildings and land over the next four years
  • Farms - the authority currently owns around 8,500 acres of farmland across Gloucestershire. It has 88 farms and 70 other lettings - it is planning to reduce that to 6,400 acres
  • More than 30 buildings or assets worth millions of pounds will be handed over to communities across Gloucestershire in bid to make services more local



SEE ALSO
March through city against cuts
22 Nov 10 |  Gloucestershire
Council set to shed 1,000 posts
12 Nov 10 |  Gloucestershire
County council has to save 120m
07 Sep 10 |  Gloucestershire
First of council cuts announced
06 Jul 10 |  Gloucestershire
County council told to save 6.5m
11 Jun 10 |  Gloucestershire


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