Basildon Council may axe 200 jobs to meet budget cuts

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Up to 200 jobs could go at Basildon Council in Essex over the next few years as part of budget cutbacks, it has been revealed.

Deputy leader of Basildon Council, Phil Turner, said staff were being briefed on possible cuts, which will go before councillors on 14 February.

He said the cuts were needed due to a drop in central government funding.

A spokesman for the council said it could not comment on how much money needed to be saved.

But, the spokesman added, it was forecast in last year's budget that central government funding to Basildon Council would reduce by 41% by March 2016.

Savings targets for 2013-14 will be put to councillors on 14 February.

'Modernise workforce'

Mr Turner said: "The reduction will be part of the council's plans to restructure its workforce in order to find increased efficiencies and different ways of delivering services.

"This needs to be done not only in the face of continued reductions in central government funding available to local authorities but also as part of the council's wider drive to modernise its workforce.

"At a time when many other local authorities are struggling to maintain services this council's transformation programme, which will involve reducing the size of the workforce, is necessary if Basildon is to deliver on its ambitious aspiration to create greater opportunity for local people.

"It is not yet clear by how much the council's workforce will reduce but it is likely to be in the region of 150 to 200 over the coming years."

A council spokesman said the cuts were not connected to the clearance of Europe's largest travellers' site at Dale Farm, which is believed to have cost the authority about £7m in legal costs.

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