Job losses and services shake-up to combat £63m council budget shortfall

A consultation on the cuts is underway

A consultation on the cuts is underway - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

A drastic structural shake-up will help the borough survive looming government cuts, according to the leader of the council.

Council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell is hoping his cost-cutting measures will hit the bullseye

Council leader Cllr Darren Rodwell is hoping his cost-cutting measures will hit the bullseye - Credit: Archant

Cllr Darren Rodwell says reorganising services while also tackling the root of issues will encourage residents to become less reliant on the council – saving money in the process.

He announced the proposed changes during a cabinet meeting at Barking Town Hall last night (Tues) where he said that ongoing “salami slicing” is no longer viable to protect vital services.

Instead 550 jobs are expected to be lost as departments will work in a more co-ordinated and integrated fashion, with a single service created for those who need help.

Barking and Dagenham Council faces a shortfall of £63million, a third of its budget, by 2020. By then, government cuts will mean that the council has half as much money to play with compared to 2010 – while the growing population will add increased demand on services.

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Speaking to the Post ahead of the announcement, Cllr Rodwell said: “We all have to do our bit like they did in the war and come together in this age of austerity.

“People will have to start being more responsible for their situation as they will no longer be able to come to the council and expect us to give them a solution.”

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Residents are being invited to share their views on the proposed changes on the council website by June 16.

There will also be two drop-in sessions on May 13 in the conference room at Barking Learning Centre from 9.30am to 12.30pm and meeting room 1 in Dagenham Library from 2pm to 5pm.

Consultation forms will also be available from all of the libraries in the borough.

Pick up a copy of next week’s paper for more details.

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