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Up to 150 jobs could be cut at Kent County Council

By SamPayne  |  Posted: January 16, 2013

More than 100 jobs could be cut at Kent County Council

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UP TO 150 jobs could go at the Kent County Council, it was announced today.

The council announced the job losses as part of its £94 million savings package outlined in this year’s draft budget.

The cuts, which will not be frontline posts, are additional to the 1,500 job losses planned already over the next two years.

The council said it will affect mostly back office staff and some tiers of management.

But fears have been raised where these redundancies will fall within the council.

It follows the Government’s decision to reduce its grant to county hall by 9.5 per cent – which is equivalent to £13 million lower than council chiefs expected.

Opposition Liberal Democrat leader councillor Trudy Dean said: "I don't buy that argument that if you dismiss as many staff as 1,600 over two years that it will not affect front line services."

Unison branch secretary David Lloyd said: "Our concern is that we don't know where the 100 job cuts will fall. We are at the bare bones at the moment. A lot of people are working longer hours to get the job done.

"In our initial response to the draft budget in October we did ask the council to raise the council tax to allow for some income for services to be provided and maintained in Kent."

But it is likely council tax will be frozen for the third year in a row.

Council leader councillor Paul Carter said: "We are doing all we can to freeze council tax for the third successive year despite massive reductions in government grant allocation to fund local government services."

The draft budget has hit adult social care services the worst, which has been asked to cope with £18 million less this year.

The council also plans to use £3 million more of its reserves to help plug the hole in its finances.

It will vote on the budget at County Hall on February 14.

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