Council will slash 200 jobs

THE COUNTY council will slash up to 200 jobs this year as reduced budgets begin to bite.

East Sussex County Council will cut 400 jobs over the next four years in a bid to slash running costs. Children’s services have been hit heaviest by Government grant cuts and 315 posts, some of which are vacant, will be scrapped in the next four years.

Between 150-200 staff will lose their jobs by the end of the financial year. Deputy chief executive Sean Nolan said support services, including his own department, will cut their spending by 30 per cent by 2015.

The council hopes staff will opt for voluntary redundancy but it is likely many will be forced to go. Mr Nolan said, “We don’t expect it to be as bad in the three years after 2011/12 but it’s difficult to see how we can make the level of savings we need without further post redundancies.”

Mr Nolan added they had set aside £7 million to account for redundancy packages, £2 million of which will be used this year. Paula Black from Unison said, “The numbers being proposed are higher than we were expecting and we would want to see every option explored before anyone is forced to take redundancy.” Deputy council leader Tony Reid said, “There may be reduced positions but we’re working hard to ensure compulsory redundancies are at a minimum, so telling someone to go is a last resort.”