Jobs at risk in £18m spending cut

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SPENDING on local services across the county council needs to be cut by around £18million over the next three years.

The Medium Term Financial Strategy, approved by Northumberland County Council in February, reduces cash limits by £30million across the council over three years.

The total impact on Local Services is that spending must be reduced by £18.749million over three years, which includes £4.741million in 2012/13.

A report to Monday’s meeting of the county council executive states that ‘impact on staff numbers is inevitable. As part of the planned downsizing, a number of vacancies will be removed with immediate effect.’

The largest areas of expenditure on local services are highways and neighbourhood services, sustainable transport and waste.

In all three, improvements in efficiency and new ways of working are being looked at or have already been implemented.

The report also suggests that highways and neighbourhood services could be outsourced.

It states: “Highways and Neighbourhood Services will undergo a significant service transformation; if the in-house service provision is offering value for money and good customer service there is no reason to change it, and this is currently being reviewed by the Corporate Director.”