100 jobs to go in Shropshire Council cuts

At least 100 jobs will be axed and dozens of services across Shropshire hit by widespread cuts under plans to save almost £25 million over the next two years.

At least 100 jobs will be axed and dozens of services across Shropshire hit by widespread cuts under plans to save almost £25 million over the next two years.

Big changes are planned across a range of services including education, public transport and tourism as part of the cost-saving proposals made by Shropshire Council.

The savings are part of the authority’s overall efforts to save £86 million by 2015.

Council leader Keith Barrow today said it was a question of finding the best way to manage resources amid huge cuts.

“Seventy per cent of the money we spend is on staff.

“It’s always been apparent that the only way to save the money was for jobs to disappear,” he said.

But the council was trying to cut vacancies and get staff to do more by merging posts, rather than through redundancies, he added.

“We’re trying to minimise the number of people losing their jobs,” he said.

The plans were discussed by members of the performance and strategy scrutiny committee at a meeting in Shirehall yesterday.

Among the services facing cuts by 2014 are: Early years services, such as playgroup funding, although no closures are anticipated; the music service, with schools and pupils expected to pay the full cost of lessons; day care centres and residential homes; the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arms; public transport.

The strategy will go before the council’s ruling cabinet next Wednesday before returning to the scrutiny committee on February 10.

The council has already axed 30 senior staff roles and cut staff wages by 2.7 per cent, with a further cut, expected to be 1.9 per cent, expected to come in October.

Cost reductions of £42 million have already been made, in addition to an agreed package of savings totalling £10.5 million in 2012/13 and £6.4 million in the next year.