Shropshire council agrees £80m budget cut business plan

Shropshire Council building Shropshire Council said it planned to sell off its Shire Hall headquarters to help save £80m

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Shropshire council has agreed a business plan to save £80m from its budget, which includes severe cuts to children's services and elderly care.

The authority announced in July that it could have to make about 2,000 staff redundant to make the savings by 2017.

Councillors agreed a plan on Thursday that will see the adult social care budget reduced by £24m and cuts of £12.5m in children's services.

The authority said it wanted to make £41.5m of savings by 2015.

It confirmed in September that more than 700 members of staff had asked to be considered for voluntary redundancy.

The council business plan states it will no longer be a "direct provider" of adult social care services and would cut its current £98m budget by almost 25%.

It said it would instead work with private carers, the voluntary and community sectors, and health providers.

Support for families

"Only where absolutely necessary will the council step in to provide what support is needed to keep people as independent as possible," it states.

"This will make much more sense from the perspective of the customer and cut costs."

Children's services will see a £12.5m reduction in its overall budget of £35.9m.

The council said it wanted to reduce the number of children going into care by providing more support for families.

The report states: "We will put much more emphasis on helping birth families, which will reduce the numbers needing to go into care, particularly those aged over 13."

The authority said it would also review contracts with companies including waste management firm Veolia and funeral services provider Co-op to see where savings could be made.

It also plans to sell off its headquarters, the Shire Hall in Shrewsbury, as well as other empty and under-used council buildings.

The draft business plan would go out to consultation, it said.

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