Mark Whitehead 04 September 2018

Up to 130 jobs at risk at Somerset Council

Staff will be forced to take two days unpaid leave, up to 130 jobs could be lost, winter gritting will be cut and a park-and-ride service suspended under a package of proposals by Somerset County Council to save £13m.

The council says it has been forced to take the measures because of cuts in government funding and rising demand for its services.

Council leader David Fothergill said that after making £130m of savings and efficiencies over the last eight years, the authority had now reached the 'very sharp end of continued austerity'.

The proposals which also include cutting grants to Citizen's Advice Bureau offices and reducing funding for early years, young carers and youth services, will be considered by the council’s cabinet later this month.

Cllr Fothergill said: 'We’ve tried hard to avoid this, looked at every option open to us in terms of financial flexibility, but have been left with no choice.

'These proposals will be hard to deliver and difficult to stomach for anyone who works for or with this authority.

'This is the very sharp end of austerity, but the consequences of not taking this action, of not bringing ourselves to financial sustainability, would be even harder on our residents and that has to be avoided.'

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