Essex County Council to slash 450 jobs as part of �98 million savings

ESSEX County Council has put a freeze on Council Tax for residents – but 450 jobs are to go as the council looks to make savings of almost �100 million.

The council’s priorities over the next 12 months were outlined at full council last week.

The cash-strapped council has opted to slash library opening hours – although none will close – and cut back on recycling and school transport services as part of the approved �2.1 billion budget.

The council said it will make �50 million savings by scaling back office and procurement processes and by trimming reserves by �34 million.

However, as part of its EssexWorks pledge the council has promised to:


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• Spend �4 million fixing potholes

• Invest at least �1m to help firms create jobs and take advantage of new market opportunities, including supporting 250 new apprenticeships

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• Establish 12 local community engagement schemes and projects to reduce anti-social behaviour

• Create 150 sport and health related activities for 30,000 young people in schools and local communities

Talking after the meeting leader of the council Cllr Peter Martin said: “This is a time when there is a lot of focus on cuts and it has been a daunting challenge to set our budget this year, but we have been creative and resourceful in finding solutions that protect those services that make a real difference to the lives of our residents.

“And prudent financial planning means we are in a better position than some to weather this storm.

“Our new pledges show our commitment to continuing to invest in good quality services and have taken on board the feedback residents gave us about their priorities and invested in those areas.”

He added: “This year will be one unlike any other for local government but it does bring exciting opportunities for us to think more creatively and to find smarter ways to work.”

WHAT do you think of the budget? E-mail us at editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk

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