Job cut fears as council faces drop in funding

JOB cuts at the council could be on the cards from next year, its leader has warned.

Councillor Jeremy Birch said possible redundancies could not be ruled out at Hastings Borough Council faces a drop in its budget by £2.5 million from April 1 next year due to Government cuts.

The council has been looking into and addressing areas where savings can be made, which has included a restructure of the senior management team, saving £375,000 a year and re-tendering the two largest contracts, grounds maintenance and waste and recycling, which between them, could save more than £900,000.

Cllr Birch said: “This is certainly the most challenging financial position any of us in the council has ever had to deal with and we are being forced to make some very difficult decisions. I cannot guarantee that there will be no job cuts. We have to look at every aspect of our activity and address how much can be allocated to those activities. What is clear the council can’t continue to do all the things it currently does but we want the input from the town before making final decisions. Two years ago we held a Big Conversation writing to every household in the town which itself had a significant cost so this year ‘Another Conversation’ will be a little different. A questionnaire will be available on our website for anyone to fill in with a list of council services for people to identify which are the real priorities.”

Meet the leader drop-ins will be held in the Town Hall on October 23, 9am to 11am and October 24, from 2pm to 4pm. To take part log onto www.surveymonkey.com/s/9KMDCFV or contact Mark Horan, at mhoran@hastings.gov.uk or 01424 451485.