William Eichler 25 October 2015

Hampshire County Council to axe 450 jobs

Hampshire County Council has approved cuts of up to £98m, which could lead to 450 jobs being axed.

Cllr Roy Perry, the leader of the council, estimates the equivalent of 454 full-time contracts could be lost.

‘As part of the County Council’s efficiency and transformation programme in response to continued cuts in Government funding,’ he said, ‘the authority needs to deliver further anticipated savings of £98m by April 2017.’

A change in the ‘operating model’ of the adult social care department will cost 163 jobs. There will be similar job losses in the children’s services department, as well as in the culture, community and business services departments.

Streetlights may also be dimmed as a cost-cutting measure.

The council said the introduction of the Living Wage could increase the cost of the workforce by £5m. It also said a further £102.5m was removed from its budgets this year, taking the total to £242m since the grant reductions began.

Cllr Perry said: ‘Since 2008, the county council’s strategy for managing reductions in central Government funding, (while maintaining Council Tax at the same level for the last six years) has focused on running the county council more efficiently by reducing the cost of back office functions; using savings to help protect front line services; and prudently using some reserves to manage the costs of change.’

‘During our public consultation held over the summer,’ he continued, ‘the majority of people responding told us that they supported our current financial strategy, which has delivered £240m of savings since 2008.’

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