FLINTSHIRE Council will slash £3.5million from its wage bill as it tries to save £15m in the next financial year.
The news came as the council’s cabinet published a draft of its much anticipated Council Fund Revenue Budget for 2014-15 on Friday.
It revealed the local authority is expecting to save £10 million of ‘Value for Money’ savings through internal efficiencies in what council leader Aaron Shotton described as “a different approach”.
The council also announced it would be investing an additional £1m into county leisure centres and swimming pools while maintaining it won’t close or make significant reductions regarding vital council services or facilities.
“Council’s up and down the country have announced controversial plans to withdraw services and close facilities,” Cllr Shotton said.
“In Flintshire we have set out to take a different approach, based on our principles of defending public services.
“We committed to protect local services as far as possible through a challenging and sustained review of the operating costs of the council, a significant reduction in senior management costs, and an ongoing reduction in overall workforce and employment costs. The budget stays true to that strategy.
“We will be seeking support from Flintshire communities on how we can protect as many of our vital services as possible against the backdrop of the worst public sector cuts in a generation.
“None of the changes to services proposed in our budget should have a big impact on communities – unlike the announcements some other councils have been forced to make.”
Deputy council leader, Cllr Bernie Attridge added: “We have set out a budget based upon community need that targets £15 million of savings, whilst at the same time we are managing to protect all our vital local services from the worst ravages of the cuts.”
Last year Flintshire Council announced jobs would go, pay scales would be restructured and that senior management would not be spared as it attempts to save £15m in the next financial year - and an overall total of £50m by 2018.
In a statement on Friday, the council’s chief executive, Colin Everett, said: “A new model structure with new groupings of council services and corporate support services, with a streamlined senior management will be introduced to save over £2 million of management costs.
“The council will be reducing the size of its workforce to save a further £1.5 million.”
The bulk of the savings however will be met by £10m worth of ‘Value for Money’ savings created by making internal council efficiencies to streamline its operations.
During 2014 the council plans to review and consult on the future shape of services from 2015-16 onwards.
The budget proposals will be now reviewed by the council’s overview and scrutiny committees before finally being presented to the full council for agreement on February 18.
Key Budget Plans:
l £2 million savings in the top tiers of senior management within the council.
l £10 million of Value for Money savings through internal efficiencies in areas such as improved procurement.
l £1.5 million of workforce savings through deletion of vacant posts, and early voluntary retirement or redundancy.
l Utilising council reserves to protect vital services.
l Additional £1 million of funding towards supporting leisure centres and swimming pools.
l No closure or significant reduction of vital council services or facilities.