Further cuts and job losses announced

UNISON Notts County protest rally against County Council cuts.  The protestors marched from Trent Bridge and on to County Hall  (w110224-2k)
UNISON Notts County protest rally against County Council cuts. The protestors marched from Trent Bridge and on to County Hall (w110224-2k)

bassetlaw residents are facing further cuts and price hikes with Notts County Council plans to save an extra £12m over the next two years.

The cuts, which target a range of services, will be in addition to the £60m savings the authority says it must make by 2013.

The authority also announced plans to make 382 jobs redundant - part of 2,500 roles it will cut over the next two years.

Proposed changes include:

l £1m saved by reducing funding to Connexions career advice;

l £50,000 saved by increasing standard charge of £10 to £20 for the Handy Persons Adaptation Scheme used by older people - residents will be charged £20 for a light bulb to be changed;

l £521,000 saved by 2014 by bringing forward planned changes to street lighting hours and reducing Highways team staffing;

l £500,000 saved by 2014 by reducing the council’s 14-19 team and reducing the Education Improvement Service;

l £450,000 saved by 2013 by closing the Extended Services Team which supports out-of-hours activities for schools and restructuring the play service.

Leader of the Labour opposition Coun Alan Rhodes branded the proposals “a disgrace” and a “retrograde” move by the council.

“It effectively means the council is being downgraded to only dealing with what it’s required to do by law,” he said.

“All these services that give added value to people’s lives will be cut and communities will suffer.”

Coun Rhodes said he was particularly shocked by plans to reduce Connexions funding and the 14-19 service.

“Notts has one of the highest record of youth unemployment - the last thing they need is for support to them to be thrown out,” he said.

He added that plans to reduce street lighting in areas such as Langold and Harworth were a “criminal’s charter”.

“This is not the time to do this - especially when police budgets are being cut and the custody suite being closed,” he said.

“They did this in Bingham, an affluent area of Nottingham, and there was a huge increase in the levels of anti-social behaviour.”

Cabinet member for finance and property Coun Reg Adair said “prudent financial management” and taking a long-term view have put the authority in a strong position.

“We are seeing positive changes which are making the council a more efficient and business-like orgainsation,” he said.

“We are making savings in some areas of the council to invest and meed demand in social care for adults and children.”

He added: “We continue to protect frontline services as much as possible by being creative and coming up with proposals which make the best use of our resources.”

The £12m saving proposals will be considered at the council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday 9th November.

Residents are asked to submit their views by submitting a feedback form on November’s County News, visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk or calling 08449 808080. Alternatively write to: Freepost RLUR-UXJJ-ETZZ, Budget Consultation, County Hall, Loughborough Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 7QP.