Over 400 posts to go as Essex County Council looks to save �300m

OVER 400 posts could be made redundant as cash-strapped Essex County Council (ECC) looks to make �300 million savings.

The council said it is halfway to achieving the savings target, set out under the Transformation Programme, but jobs will be lost as a result.

Deputy leader and cabinet member for responsibility for the programme, Cllr David Finch, said: “As the council continues on the transformation journey, we have to look closely at the way our money is spent.

“We have already saved �150m through smarter working so that we can continue to become more efficient and protect front line services.

“In Essex, we are committed to keeping residents at the heart of what we do and will continue to shape any changes around them and their priorities.”

The areas which will be affected are: planning and service development within the Adults Health and Community Well-being directorate, business support, corporate services, information service modernisation, schools and education strategy and the youth service.

The council says it will review temporary, interim and agency posts and, where appropriate, encourage voluntary redundancy in a bid to minimise the impact of compulsory redundancy.

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“We do not underestimate how difficult this will be but throughout the process,” added Cllr Finch.

“We will ensure we are open and honest about the changes and have started our engagement with employees as early as possible to make sure they are the first to understand why we are doing this and what it may mean for them.

“Essex County Council is no different to any other organisation that needs to get into shape if it is going to cope with these challenging economic times. Reduced budgets have had a direct impact on the council’s headcount and as such these changes have to be announced.”

A specific customer services project as part of the consultation process is due to begin in the autumn.