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Council staff to be axed

PUBLISHED: 11:06 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:54 03 July 2010

A range of measures, including staff cuts and efficiency savings, are set to help North Norfolk District Council save £500,000 from its annual spend next year.

A range of measures, including staff cuts and efficiency savings, are set to help North Norfolk District Council save £500,000 from its annual spend next year.

The council has been exploring a range of measures to address the need to save money amid ominous predictions of public spending cuts and recession pressures.

The authority has already shaved £1.4m from its budget over the past three years, but a target of another £500,000 for the financial year 2010/11 was discussed by the council's cabinet on Tuesday.

Members agreed details which included:

t Merging planning and building control management in the light of new information technology and a recession-induced downturn in planning applications, saving over £150,000.

t Rationalisation of senior management and staffing in environmental health, saving around £100,000.

t A shake up of certain management responsibilities to produce a more streamlined structure and save on overheads.

t Increasing the cost of car parking season tickets, generating around £50,000, but maintaining both the hourly rates and the '10p for 20 minutes' scheme.

t Not filling a vacant post in the strategic housing service, saving £35,000.

t A £30,000 saving on maintenance costs through new computer systems.

The first two of these changes would see staff posts cut, but council bosses have pledged to try and make these changes through voluntary redundancy, which has been offered as an option to all staff, and early retirement.

Deputy chief executive Sheila Oxtoby said the various different methods of saving money were part of the authority's efforts to prepare for the future and featured both a short and long term view of services and how those services were delivered.

Longer term projects were already looking at sharing services with other councils and revising contracts, added Mrs Oxtoby.

During Tuesday's meeting, cabinet member Graham Jones said the council needed to make itself fit for purpose and that sometimes meant making decisions “we do not want to take”.

All decisions had been made with full staff consultation, he added.

And Peter Moore, cabinet member for resources, said the council was not looking to reduce the quality of services to the public.

The cabinet's recommendation will be put before a meeting of the full council in the coming weeks for final debate.

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