1,800 Jobs to Go in 'Firm but Fair' Cuts

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), February 16, 2011 | Go to article overview

1,800 Jobs to Go in 'Firm but Fair' Cuts


Byline: Les Reid

WARWICKSHIRE County Council has voted through historic cuts which will lead to a massive jobs cull and a widescale shutdown of services.

Ruling Conservative councillors yesterday pushed through their plans for pounds 21million cuts this year, rising to pounds 60million over three years, which will see up to 1,800 job losses.

Set to close are nearly all the council's 10 elderly care homes, up to half of its 34 libraries and youth clubs.

Cuts will also hit the Connexions careers service to young people, street lights will be switched off at night, while the county music service and children's centres also face cuts.

Conservative council leader Alan Farnell said it was a "firm but fair" response to unprecedented 26 per cent government funding cuts to councils to tackle the pounds 150billion national deficit.

He told yesterday's budget-setting meeting it was also an "opportunity" to transform council services.

Tory councillors echoed Prime Minister David Cameron's "Big Society" call for community volunteers to step in to run services, including libraries, youth centres and care homes.

They also favour more commissioning of private firms and social enterprises to run services.

Council tax will be frozen this year, and charges will rise for many services, including home care of the elderly and transport to schools. Labour leader Coun June Tandy accused the Tories of hiding behind government cuts.

She referred to national charity leaders who have criticised cuts made via councils to charities that provide volunteers, at a time when Mr Cameron was promoting his ''Big Society''. …

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