Northampton

Wellingborough Council job cuts 'save £1.5m'

Cutting 84 jobs from a workforce of 300 at a Northamptonshire council has already saved nearly £1.5m, according to a council report.

Conservative-controlled Wellingborough council is aiming to achieve budget savings of £5m before 2014.

The report said 67 job losses were voluntary and 17 compulsory but some staff were still serving their notice.

The opposition Labour Party condemned the job losses and said front line services would be hit as staff left.

"Up until now these redundancies have saved about £920,000, including £560,000 from a management restructure," a council statement said.

'Public misled'

Services are still being restructured and the council hopes savings from redundancies of about £800,000 are still to come.

Other planned cuts are under way to achieve their target.

Thomas Pursglove, chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee, said: "We were set a very difficult challenge this time last year when we discovered that our grant from central government would be reduced by more than £1.4m.

"We were already looking at making savings of £2.5m to reduce our reliance on reserves."

Leader of the opposition Sashi Dholakia said: "Cuts need to be made to balance the budget but I feel the present approach is that they are too fast and too deep.

"The loss of jobs means council tax payers will see less service and delays as well as loss of efficiency.

"I asked the administration if front line services would be hit and they said no but that is totally wrong and they have misled the public."

When the job losses were announced the council said it was hoping to save £3m overall from staff cuts by their target date.

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