Six hundred people have lost their jobs with Tory-controlled Wiltshire Council as a result of government cuts in local government funding, council leader Jane Scott has revealed.
And another 200 posts would go in the coming year, she announced, pointing out that schools too were facing a difficult future.
Making her “frozen” budget speech on Tuesday, she announced: “We have reduced the workforce by 600 posts, including more than 200 managerial roles and the post of chief executive in the last four years.”
“Our back office or support function costs were 19 per cent of our total budget in 2009 – this is now nine per cent of our budget and we intend to reduce this further.”
“We will continue to review the use of consultants and our management structures. The aim is to further reduce duplication by reviewing some corporate support services to deliver more savings.”
“We aim to reduce by an additional 200 posts next year.”
As to schools, Councillor Scott said: “This year has been a difficult year for schools. The funding for schools is currently allocated from central government for us to reallocate based on local and national formulae.”
“Overall Wiltshire’s funding allocation remains below the national average in terms of spend per pupil. In line with national requirements, we have worked with schools and revised the formula to deliver a new scheme that reflects local priorities.”
“The total estimated dedicated school’s grant for 2013/14 is more than £302 million before the adjustment for the impact of academies. No school will receive a reduction in budget of more than 1.5 per cent per pupil, before any pupil premium is added.”
The council is planning to allocate £38 million into schools to invest in new fit-for-purpose buildings and to carry out maintenance works on existing buildings.”
“It is vital that we continue to protect our frontline services and those who are most vulnerable in our communities and that we support economic growth to create and protect jobs through investment in infrastructure, and support for local businesses and inward investment,” she added.
“We need to continue to work with our local communities to do more in 2013, such as local events to help boost our market towns and city. We know that stronger communities that come together are better able to tackle issues that affect them.”
“We also know that Wiltshire is a great place in which to live and work – in fact it’s the fourth happiest county in the country and we want to keep it that way.”