162 posts at risk as Derby City Council mulls cut-backs

Derby City Council could cut 162 full-time equivalent posts – of which some are vacancies – if it proceeds with a range of proposals to balance its budget for 2023/24.

The authority says tough decisions are likely to be made after it was forced to find “unprecedented savings” in a short space of time.

The council has attributed its budget shortfall to a “perfect storm” of rising costs, inflation and changes to Council Tax and says it could face a similar situation in 2024/25 if the Government fails to reform the way local council funding is apportioned.

Proposed measures include outsourcing council-run leisure services to an operating partner, reviewing council house opening hours, and focused work with partners “to encourage further support from developers, investors and government to promote and deliver regeneration in city centre schemes.”

The council’s Early Help and Adult Social Care packages could also be reviewed along with its community facilities.

The authority says it will seek to minimise compulsory staff redundancies “as far as possible”, but has warned that job losses could be an inevitable consequence of cut-backs.

The proposals will go to a public consultation following a Cabinet review on Wednesday 21 December.

Councillor Jonathan Smale, Cabinet Member for Finance, Digital and Culture, said: “The global and national economic situation has presented councils across the country with unprecedented funding challenges this year. Setting a balanced budget for the coming financial year has been difficult, and we have had to consider the impact of changes in Council Tax and service delivery against the wider picture of protecting our most vulnerable citizens.

“We want to hear the public’s view on these proposals more than ever before, because we have faced some extremely tough choices. But deciding not to go ahead with one proposal will mean having to find equivalent savings elsewhere.

“We’re looking to mitigate the impact where we can, building on the strengths of our communities and by working with our partners. We know that we can achieve more in the city if we work together.

“Let me be clear – this is not the budget we wanted to set, and we still have considerable work to do, with more savings to find over the next two financial years.

“We will continue to lobby national Government to find a solution to the issue of funding for local councils.”

The authority says its true financial position will become clear later this month when the Government announces its funding settlement.

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