County Council Chiefs are preparing to swing the axe in anticipation of government public sector spending cuts to be announced in October and are already planning which services are going to get the chop.
This year Hampshire has already seen in year funding cuts of £8.4million revenue and £9.6million capital, mainly effecting Children Services and the Environment departments
Other measures, such as a recruitment freeze, are already in place.
Cllr Ken Thornber, Tory Leader of Hampshire County Council, said:
“With staffing costs making up 51% of the County Council’s budget it is inevitable we will see reductions in our workforce across all levels”
The County Council’s budget is £672.1 million for providing social care, highways, libraries, waste disposal and other essential services but also faces the additional pressures of inflation, a greater demand for services and a freeze council tax.
The current government grant for the County Council is £146.8 million.
Mr Thornber is promising to minimise the impact on frontline services by integrating them and merging some department’s and it seems likely that backroom support services like IT will bear the brunt. He has not specified how many jobs he expects will be lost but more details are expected to emerge after the County Councils next cabinet meeting on September 27th.
Meanwhile in Eastleigh, the borough council are resorting to stealth taxes on motorists to bolster income. In addition to putting up the cost of parking permits and introducing a charge on first permits, the council have also hiked parking charges in the decaying town centre – which is already struggling to attract shoppers.
Elsewhere Suffolk County Council have announced they will be outsourcing ALL of their services in a bid to drive down costs.