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Page last updated at 13:12 GMT, Tuesday, 21 September 2010 14:12 UK
Wiltshire Council Cuts: In detail
Wiltshire Council building, Trowbridge
Wiltshire Council aim to save 8m by reducing the number of managers.

The leader of Wiltshire Council has defended a £122m programme of cuts that will see 240 managers axed by April 2011.

"There are tough times ahead", said Jane Scott, leader of the Conservative-run council.

"The country is in a financial state and we need to deal with that.

Wiltshire Council said it needed to make the savings over the next four years because of a loss of revenue from the Coalition Government.

"What we're planning for is as little effect as we can to frontline services. We're looking at the whole management structure."

Further job losses haven't been ruled out by the council.

"Public services are changing dramatically", said Mrs Scott.

"Primary Care Trusts are going, Strategic Health Authorities and most of the regional bodies are going and a lot of that work is coming back into local Government.

"At the same time we're losing some work. Some schools are going independent and we'll lose some education responsibilities.

"Over the next six months we're likely to see huge changes in how public services are run so we can't say how many job losses there will be because we don't know what our responsibilities will be in a year's time."

The Headlines
  • Wiltshire Council is expecting to receive at least 25% less funding from central government over the next four years - that's a projected £122m. They'll aim to find £40m of savings by April 2011.
  • Additionally they expect to have to find £100m over the next four years to cope with other 'cost pressures' including services they'll have to provide as the population ages.
  • The council plans to invest £124m over the next four years.

How they'll save the £122m

At this time the council has given details only of how they'll save the first £40m. They aim to make those savings by April 2011. How?

  • They'll aim to save £16m by reducing the number of managers, agency and consultancy staff and by looking at staff terms and conditions including travel costs and overtime.
  • They'll aim to save £14m by looking at the services they deliver and the bureaucracy that comes with that. They'll aim to cut bureaucracy and be more customer focused.
  • The council currently spends £354m on buying goods and services. They'll aim to be more 'business like' in their approach to this and hope it will save them £9m.
  • £1m will come from charging more for some of the services they offer. "We do charge, we charge for planning, for building control, car parks. We will be looking at charges," said council leader Mrs Scott.

The 'Cost Pressure' of the next four years

The council say in addition to making cuts to cope with the loss of funding from central government, they'll also have to find an extra £100m over the next four years. Why?

  • Because the council predicts that the demographics of the county will change over that time and there will be a rise in the number of old people living in the county. That means the council will have to provide the services associated with old age, ultimately costing them more money.
  • They'll have to pay redundancy to the managers they're axing.

But there'll be investment too?

Yes. The council want to invest £124m over the next four years. Here's where they want that money to go.

  • £44m into improving services including waste and recycling, leisure, new housing, broadband access and children's attainments at school.
  • £40m into Adult and social care, energy efficiency in homes and the local economy.
  • £40m to keep council tax low and ensure there are zero increases for the next two years.

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11 Nov 09 |  Wiltshire
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