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Wiltshire Council - job cuts

WILTSHIRE finance supremo Dick Tonge says he cannot rule out compulsory redundancies and council tax rises in 2015 as the county tries to find ways to save £30.6 million.

Cllr Tonge and other leading councillors and officers have been meeting in private for the past couple of months in anticipation of the Government grant announcement.

On Thursday they were told that Wiltshire Council will have £15.2m less in 2015/16 than it did this year.

The financial situation is made worse once allowances are made for inflation and additional demand for some statutory services such as elderly adult care and vulnerable children.

Cllr Tonge, the council’s cabinet member for finance, said: “The total amount we need to save will be £30.6m, which is very close to the figure we have been working towards.”

He said the key to managing the cuts would be to look at every service provided by the council and to see if efficiencies could be made.

He said morale among council workers at the moment was quite high and he hoped large-scale redundancies could be avoided. He said: “Every time someone leaves, we look very closely at whether or not they need to be replaced. We hope this will be sufficient, but we can’t rule out compulsory redundancies.”

 

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He said council tax had been capped for the past five years and it would be possible for it to rise by two per cent before a referendum would have to be held.

“Everything will be looked at, so it is not possible to say council tax won’t go up, but it would not be worth our while paying for a referendum,” he said.

Last year, the council received £119m as its Government grant, but this year it will only be £103.8m. 

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