Jobs at risk in North Somerset Council cuts plan

About 160 jobs at North Somerset Council are at risk over the next three years as part of plans to cut £47m.

The council said although it has a good record in making savings, the cuts represented the most severe financial challenge it had ever faced.

Conservative leader, Nigel Ashton, blamed further reductions in government funding and warned jobs and services would be affected.

The council produced a draft financial plan and invited comments on the paper.

The authority said 120 posts have already been axed in the current financial year through a mix of natural wastage and a small number of redundancies.

'Super office'

Mr Ashton added: "[The public] will be upset, quite understandably, at not having the same level of services as [they've] been used to whether it's flower beds or things you can see suddenly disappear.

"Street lights turning out, roadsides not being maintained as much as they were.

"Those sort of things we've all come to expect and think that is what should be happening - those may suffer over the next two to three years."

BBC West Political correspondent, Paul Barltrop, said the council was also spending money to save in the long term.

"They're spending millions and people might look at it and say 'what on earth are they doing spending that at the moment?'

"What they are doing is creating one big super office here [Weston-super-Mare] and then they are going to close lots of others," he said.

"In a few years North Somerset will have just two council offices from which all its functions are done and run.

"That, they say, will save them up to £700,000 per year."

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