Tax freeze approved, but 600 jobs to be lost

County Hall, Matlock.
County Hall, Matlock.

Derbyshire County Council’s proposal to freeze council tax for the second year running has been agreed, but hundreds of jobs are to be lost.

Almost £25 million is to be cut from the council’s budget and 600 jobs are to go after being approved at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

The savings planned for the coming financial year are on top of savings of around £45million and 800 job losses in the past two years.

The council says it aims to protect front-line services and jobs where possible by more efficient ways of working, staff and service reorganisation. Administration costs are to be cut by a third more than front-line services will be cut.

Derbyshire County Council’s Leader, Cllr Andrew Lewer, said: “The squeeze on public spending to help meet the national debt means the council has to cut its spending by a further £25 million in the coming year.

“We are doing what we can to be as efficient as possible and make the very best use of our council tax payers’ money.

“We understand that many people are struggling to pay their bills so for the second year running we are recommending that we freeze our share of the council tax bill. Council tax has not been frozen for two years running in Derbyshire before.

“We have got to make £25 million cuts from our budget this coming year and are determined that we protect front-line services as much as possible.

“Our budget plans still mean that we are able to spend £116 million over the next few years which will improve our roads, schools and provide new centres for older people.

Full council will meet to discuss the budget proposals on Wednesday 1 February at 2pm.

Over the next year the proposals are that the council will cut nearly £25m from its budget:

* Adult care - £9.930m

* Children and younger adults - £5.986m

* Environmental services - £4.670m

* Corporate resources - £1.327m

* Community and cultural services - £1.030m

* Corporate - £0.211m

* Chief executives - £0.083m