Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton City Council budget cuts threaten 200 jobs

Southampton Civic Centre
Image caption The report also revealed an estimated £30m black hole for 2015-16

Budget cuts at Southampton City Council could result in nearly 200 job losses.

A report due to go before the authority's cabinet on 15 July is proposing to make the cuts to cope with "a significant funding shortfall".

The proposed cuts would see 195 job losses, 47 of those posts are already vacant according to the authority.

The plans could also see the closure of Woodside Lodge care home and cuts to services for those with learning disabilities.

A library review is also under way with a formal consultation for both service users and affected staff expected in the autumn.

'Betrayal'

Deputy leader, Labour's Stephen Barnes-Andrews said: "We have a clear vision for where we want to be in 2017, but to get there we have to change the way we work and make some difficult decisions.

"Any changes we make will be focused on delivering the best possible outcomes for our residents."

The report highlights the likely gap that will be faced for 2015-16, is estimated at more than £30m.

Councillor Royston Smith, leader of the Conservative group, said: "This announcement is betrayal. A betrayal of all those workers who were promised their jobs were safe with Labour and a betrayal to all those people who voted Labour after being promised services would be protected.

"In two years in office Labour has refused to share services and accommodation, outsource to protect services and share management roles with other public sector bodies.

"There is so much more that could have been done before sacking hundreds of workers, cutting support to disabled residents and closing care homes."

In a statement, Unite described Mr Smith's claim of betrayal as "a joke" and said it was the government that was "betraying the people of Southampton by slashing funding, forcing councils to do their dirty work".

It added it was opposed to any cuts that affect jobs and services to the vulnerable.

"Job losses and outsourcing is not the answer," it said, adding: "If cuts carry on at this rate we fear there will be no council left by 2020."

It added the joint unions had "defeated" cuts to the service in 2012 and would support campaigns against these new cuts.

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