Council jobs will go to cope with funds cuts

JOBS cuts are ‘required’ at Daventry District Council as it tries to reshape and restructure itself in the face of public spending cuts.

Councillors are set to discuss the authority’s budget for the coming 12 months with the Government reducing its grants by around 30 per cent.

Funds from the Government make up more than 60 per cent of the authority’s income.

Council leader Chris Millar said: “The way I see it, moving forwards there will be an evolution.

“Government finances are tight, and I don’t think the money they give us will get much better in the near future.

“I think the most important things are that we keep council tax low, and we provide the best services we can to the public.

“With that comes the need to find savings elsewhere.”

In recent years the council has sold off its housing, leaving it just to manage those applying for social housing.

Also with the West Northamptonshire Development Corporation taking over the planning process for large-scale applications, and the recession seeing fewer small-scale developments, much of the planning work has been taken away.

On Tuesday last week behind closed doors the council agreed in principle to privatise its bin collection, grounds maintenance and street cleaning services in partnership with Northampton Borough Council.

And a report going before the council’s strategy group tonight (Thursday) highlights the need for a ‘fundamental examination’ of the council’s organisation and structure and says there is a ‘requirement’ for job losses that is being explored by asking staff to consider volunteering for early retirement, redundancy and reduced working hours.

Cllr Millar said the changes were still being explored and considered, so the numbers of people affected cannot be announced yet.

He said: “We already work in partnership with other authorities in various areas, and I think that’s something we will see more and more of.

“All local authorities are facing cuts and working together and economies of scale are one way to save.”