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Burnley Council to cut jobs amid new savings plan to fight budget deficit

Burnley Council will look to cut jobs and relocate its contact centre as it battles with a financial deficit of £3.2m.

In a report by the council’s head of finances and property services, Asad Mushtaq, Burnley Council set out their plans to meet their financial challenges and balance the books over the next three years.

Mushtaq said: “The council is commercially minded. This means we will make efficiency savings through our contracts and through good estate management.

“Unfortunately, however, given the scale of the budget gap the council must also consider staff savings.

“We will always aim to do this in a way that minimises the impact on priority services.”

The plans include cutting 12 staff positions to save £270,000, as well as relocating the contact centre to across the road in order to make £156,000 in savings.

The council has fallen from 600 staff positions to just 219 since 2010.

In total, the savings and efficiency measures in the report total £877,000 and adds that further measures will be identified to bridge the gap before next February when the 2019-20 budget is set.

The council has an annual net budget of £15.1m and projects that it will need to save £3.2m over the next three financial years.

Councillor Sue Graham, the council’s executive member for resources and performance management, said: “Year after year, we have pressed the case for a fairer system of funding for local government, so that areas like Burnley are not disproportionately affected by central government cuts.

“Nevertheless, as in previous years, the council needs to take difficult decisions now to ensure it continues to provide quality services to the standard expected by residents. We will continue to invest in those services and projects that make a real difference to quality of life in the borough.

“The report shows how the council takes a well-planned approach to what is a very serious challenge. This approach has been praised by our external auditors.”

The financial problems facing Burnley Council are similar to those facing other local authorities across the country, with Oxfordshire County Council recently announcing it could cut up to 900 jobs in a bid to save £33m.

Northamptonshire County Council, facing a budget shortfall of up to £70m, issued its second section 114 notice, banning all spending until further notice.

It will now likely split into two unitary authorities as part of reform proposals which will now be considered by local government.

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Image credit - LPETTET


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