Redundancies and budget cutting plans approved by Wandsworth Council
Wandsworth Council last night approved plans to slash its budget, merge four departments into two and cut dozens of jobs.
The local authority's finance and corporate resources overview and scrutiny committee met at the town hall last night to discuss the plans.
The committee is comprised of eight Conservative members and three Labour members and despite firm opposition, the proposals were pass through.
A paper published by the council this week recommended that it needed to cut its budget by an extra £43m, taking the total needed to be saved to £120m by 2015.
To achieve this the council will merge departments and cut 55 jobs, including two departmental director positions.
The first department in the firing line will be housing where 44 posts will be cut.
A number of senior finance managers may also be let go, with 46 positions to be axed and 38 created, resulting in a loss of eight posts, while another three positions in the environment and community services department may go.
Front-line services are not immediately under threat, but an ominous warning came in the council’s finance paper which declared that reviews would commence in other services.
Children’s and adult’s services departments will be merged, with housing and environment and community services also becoming a single department.
Environmental services will be moved from this new department to become part of public health division of the administration department.
A final budget for next year, including details of the cuts, will be published in February, 2014.
Council leader Ravi Govindia said: "Every town hall in Britain is having to play its role in reducing the nation’s debt and deficit levels.
"We will do this by cutting down on back office costs, selling off vacant buildings, market testing our services, reducing the number of high paid managers and looking at intelligent new ways of generating extra income."
If the savings are not found, the paper warned council tax could rise dramatically over the next couple of years.
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