Sheffield’s Liberal Democrat council have announced figures which suggest they have been more successful than expected in reducing the number of highly paid council employees.
In January 2009, the council pledged to reduce the number of non-school employees earning more than £50,000 by 10%. Today’s figures suggest that once non-filled positions are factored in, they have achieved a figure closer to 17%.
The council received criticism last week, after it was revealed that nearly all of the savings made from youth service cuts would be swallowed up by the severance packages of just three senior council officials.
Council leader Paul Scriven has accused youth charity Sheffield Futures of using spending cuts as a “fig leaf” for almost 100 job cuts, according to The Star
Sheffield Futures is to make almost 100 staff redundant.
Sheffield Futures, which runs youth advice service Connexions, has seen its budget reduced by over a quarter this year, and has been told its contract will be put out to tender next March.
The charity saw its contract value reduced by 20% earlier this year. Its budget was reduced by a further 8% in the recent round of public spending cuts.
Cllr Scriven stopped short of condemning the redundancies entirely, but suggested staff reductions would have had to be made regardless of the most recent budget cuts.
He said, “It’s true that funding for this organisation has been scaled back as part of a wider spending review. And yes, there will no doubt have to be reductions within the organisation as they are obliged to provide better value for money.
“But it would be wrong to use council efficiency savings as a fig leaf for restructure costs needed within their own organisation.”
The Connexions service saw the biggest cuts from the recent spending cuts. It will lose £1.2m, almost a quarter of its budget.
Members of public service trade union Unison are expected to vote in favour of industrial action for Sheffield Futures staff.
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