Council tax cut but 30 jobs likely to go

Published: 25 Jan 2014 12:30

THE Royal Borough looks set to slash council tax for a nationwide-best fifth year in a row – but at the cost of more job losses.

The proposed 2% reduction for 2014/15 – which means the annual Band D rate will drop by £19.38 to £926.40 – was announced on Tuesday by council leader David Burbage.

If approved, the tax levy – which does not include precepts for other organisations such as the police, fire authority and parish council – would mean no other authority in the country has offered as many successive years of cuts, according to the Royal Borough’s ruling Conservative group.

However, council chiefs have conceded that about 30 jobs are likely to go, which is less than the 50-a-year average since the Conservatives took control in 2007.

Cllr Burbage said: “I am never pleased about redundancies but they are lower than last year it is safe to say. We are not just taking out a whole load of parking wardens or call centre staff or middle managers, it is across the board.”

The key message from Cllr Burbage was the prospective savings will come from efficiency drives, rather than cutting frontline services.

These savings include more than £1m from adult services schemes designed to keep people living independently in their own homes rather than in elderly or special needs homes, £325,000 through the retendering of bus services and £440,000 in tax savings by moving the running of leisure centres under the control of a new charity trust.

Car park charges will also be frozen and there will be no increase on leisure centre charges.

Final approval would have to be given at a full council meeting on Tuesday, February 25.

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