EIGHTY jobs could go at Flintshire Council over coming months as the local authority’s cost-cutting plans start to bite.
Flintshire Council is aiming to cut £1.5 million from its workforce budget as part of £15 million of savings earmarked for the 2014-15 financial year.
Authority bosses insist they want the reduction to come through early retirement and voluntary redundancies and will be seeking expressions of interest from staff in the next few weeks in an effort to prevent compulsory redundancies.
A draft revenue budget for the financial year starting April 1, published on Friday, also earmarked £2m of savings in top tier management costs and £10m of so-called ‘value for money’ internal efficiencies.
Flintshire Council leader Aaron Shotton told the Leader work is already underway to identify where a shrinking of the 7,500-strong council workforce can take place.
“Compulsory redundancy isn’t a part of our strategy and all attempts are being made to avoid them,” he said. “However, legally we need to set out a balanced budget.
“We estimate, based on the average council wage, that around 80 jobs will go.
“That figure will also depend on factors such as length of service as well and salary scales.
“We have set a target of completing that process by the summer.
“Work is underway to identify where workforce reduction can take place without affecting services and we would hope that we can match the interests of individuals that choose to leave the council in those areas.
“These are the only planned workforce reductions this year to meet the current budget.”
Flintshire Council has pledged to protect local services and is investing £1m in leisure centres and swimming pools to ensure they can be retained.
Its other cuts focus is centred on top tier management and Cllr Shotton said: “Discussions are ongoing to significantly reduce tiers of management within the council and we are targeting a £2m saving.”
There are currently four tiers of management at Flintshire Council, with 18 directors and heads of service as well as about 230 middle management employees.
The council’s restructuring will also be aided by £10m of ‘value for money’ savings set to be discussed by overview and scrutiny committees in future weeks.
These include relocating the council depot at Halkyn to the one at Alltami, producing an estimated £90,000 saving for 2014-15, which Cllr Shotton said would prevent duplication, while still providing services for the whole of the county.