Job cuts expected as councils combine to save money

Dorset Echo: West Dorset District Council offices in Dorchester West Dorset District Council offices in Dorchester

Jobs are ‘likely’ to be cut as two councils strive to make more savings.

But councillors were keen to praise the contribution of staff as they seek to bridge a budget gap of over £4million.

It comes as Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and West Dorset District Council admit staff reductions are ‘likely’ but stressed no decisions have yet been made.

The authorities are launching a review of its services to cope with the financial challenges they will face in the future.

The two councils have already merged workforces with their shared services partnership saving over £3million a year.

However, a report considered by a joint committee from both councils was told today that the two authorities still need to find an estimated £4.1m over the next three years.

As a result the partnership has launched a review of all its services and set out areas where it hopes to find £3.361m of that total.

It will look at alternative ways of delivering some services as well as new streams of potential income.

The details are yet to be fleshed out but the partnership has set a savings target of £761,000 under the heading of business improvement and £552,000 in the economy, leisure and tourism sector.

Other savings proposed include £411,000 in property, engineering and parking; £362,000 in community protection; and £360,000 through its revenue and benefits service.

Members were told the partnership would be working with Dorset County Council and other local authorities during the review to learn from its experiences in transforming services and to ensure there is no duplication.

West Dorset District Council leader Robert Gould described the review programme as ‘a very comprehensive and important programme’ and warned that there was no hiding away from the ‘financial drivers’ that were forcing the two authorities to look at the way they deliver their services.

He added that it was important for members to recognise the work staff had put into the process so far and their continuing efforts. Councillor Gould said: “We need to recognise and note the efforts that have gone onto this process from the staff and their involvement because obviously it has been particularly challenging for them,”

Kate Hindson, director of communities for the shared service partnership, said after the meeting: “As we look to transform and explore ways in which we can deliver services more efficiently over the next three years we anticipate that unfortunately staff reductions are likely.

“However at this stage no decisions have been taken and we will of course consult with affected staff in line with good employment practice.”

Comments (5)

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9:26am Tue 28 Jan 14

ziggystardust says...

What;s the point in merging, if there are no savings on staffing?

Quite clearly there will (and should be) job cuts. The public sector needs to be WAY more efficient.
What;s the point in merging, if there are no savings on staffing? Quite clearly there will (and should be) job cuts. The public sector needs to be WAY more efficient. ziggystardust

12:21pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Dorset Guy1 says...

ziggystardust wrote:
What;s the point in merging, if there are no savings on staffing?

Quite clearly there will (and should be) job cuts. The public sector needs to be WAY more efficient.
The staff reductions from merging have mostly already been made the article is talking about future cuts!
[quote][p][bold]ziggystardust[/bold] wrote: What;s the point in merging, if there are no savings on staffing? Quite clearly there will (and should be) job cuts. The public sector needs to be WAY more efficient.[/p][/quote]The staff reductions from merging have mostly already been made the article is talking about future cuts! Dorset Guy1

12:43pm Tue 28 Jan 14

CoogarUK.com says...

It's the jobs at the top that should be vulnerable, due to the various shambles they have overseen during the past few years. Still allocating or spending reserves as if (taxpayers) money is going out of fashion while at the same time talking of cost-savings leading to cuts. What hypocrisy!
It's the jobs at the top that should be vulnerable, due to the various shambles they have overseen during the past few years. Still allocating or spending reserves as if (taxpayers) money is going out of fashion while at the same time talking of cost-savings leading to cuts. What hypocrisy! CoogarUK.com

1:58pm Tue 28 Jan 14

portland rebel says...

you can bet your life it wont be managers jobs that go.
you can bet your life it wont be managers jobs that go. portland rebel

2:25pm Tue 28 Jan 14

westendcat says...

Outsource the whole of the in-house proeperty 'empire'. You only have to look at the continual problems that this section causes (not selling corporate asstes in time, allowing empty premises to languish without any rental income, no pro-active maintenance programmes, no asset register, too much councillor meddling in commercial property management, ineffective management of the hotel portfolio). I could go on. The only solution is to outsource the management of the portfolio to aggressive private sector agents, ask them to discard all the crap that takes disproportional staff management time and money, and only retain a portfolio that basically manages itself - ie receives a market value rental stream from ground rents and other blue chip premises. DO NOT CARRY ON DOING IT JUST BECAUSE YOU'VE ALWAYS DONE IT!!!
Outsource the whole of the in-house proeperty 'empire'. You only have to look at the continual problems that this section causes (not selling corporate asstes in time, allowing empty premises to languish without any rental income, no pro-active maintenance programmes, no asset register, too much councillor meddling in commercial property management, ineffective management of the hotel portfolio). I could go on. The only solution is to outsource the management of the portfolio to aggressive private sector agents, ask them to discard all the crap that takes disproportional staff management time and money, and only retain a portfolio that basically manages itself - ie receives a market value rental stream from ground rents and other blue chip premises. DO NOT CARRY ON DOING IT JUST BECAUSE YOU'VE ALWAYS DONE IT!!! westendcat

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