Council Cuts: Proposals in Detail Announced

Details of the £8 million worth of proposed budget savings have been announced by Thurrock Council.

On friday, YourThurrock exclusively revealed that dozens of jobs were set to go as the beleaguered council strives to make over £8 million worth of budget cuts.

But the extent of the cuts make for grim reading as front line services for adult social care, youth employment and library services are hardest hit.

Funding may be cut for community forums, diversity, crisis support and intervention teams and centres for looked after children.

Jobs set to go include educational psychologists whilst, worryingly there is a proposal to replace some qualified social worker posts with
unqualified family support workers.

Price hikes are expected at carers centre, the hire of sporting facilities, car parking at Langdon Hills and much more.

Defending the proposals, council leader, Garry Hague said:

“Our overriding objective is to minimise the impact of decisions on residents and front line services.

“However, we will be relentless in our determination to drive out inefficiency and waste, we will seek out new opportunities to work differently and share services with partners to drive costs down.

“We want to keep council tax as low as possible because we know the financial effects of the recession are already taking their toll on local residents.

“We also have a duty to manage resources effectively and refuse to plunge the council into unsustainable debt. By making these decisions now, and planning for the future, we can achieve better value for the Thurrock council tax payer and ensure that services that residents most value are maintained.

“We have the 4th lowest council tax of any unitary council in the country – we want to keep it that way. At the same time we are improving as a council and we want to continue in that direction. We believe we can achieve both.

Denouncing the cuts, the Leader of Thurrock Labour, Cllr John Kent said: “We’ve only just seen these proposals, but the Tories have been working on them for months.

“This is a double whammy of bad news for local people, deep and damaging cuts to front line services and significant job losses.

“Let’s not forget there’s another inflation-busting tax increase to come next April.

“While no local authority is immune from the world outside, sheer incompetence by the Conservatives has made a difficult situation much worse.

“They have failed to rein-in council spending. They are spending £5 million and rising on consultants and £4million each year on extras on a strategic partnership already costing £18 million per year.

“It’s an absolute disgrace.”

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