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200 jobs at risk in Wolverhampton children's services

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

More than 200 jobs at Wolverhampton's children's services department will be scrapped to save more than £8 million over the next five years under plans revealed today.

The details have emerged as part of a plan to axe 1,000 jobs at Wolverhampton City Council and cut £98m.

Its children and young people's services will lose 227 posts accounting for £6.1m of cuts and £2.2m of back office savings.

Bosses have insisted that 'their hands are tied' due to government funding cuts.

Youth club activities are moving out of youth centres and into the planned £6m Onside Youth Zone, set to be built on land off Worcester Street, School Street and Little Brickkiln Street.

A total of 76 full time equivalent posts are expected to go in youth services, and 36 will be lost in a re-structuring of the 'social inclusion and play' service.

A total of 38 posts will go in children's homes and 33 will go in the department providing short breaks for youngsters, including the closure of the council's homes in Windmill Lane and Stowheath.

Six will go in the family and support team and one from the youth offending service.

A further 36 jobs will go in the department overseeing schools, skills and learning, including cutting six heads of service down to two. A post will also be axed in a review of lollipop wardens. Bosses are also planning to raise £1m by increasing the prices it charges schools for children's meals.

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The council is planning a 2.5 per cent rise in 2014/15 and five per cent over the following three years. This will mean between 5p and 10p a meal added to the average cost.

It will be up to the schools to decide whether to pass the costs on to parents.

Children's services boss Val Gibson told a scrutiny panel meeting: "We have got our hands tied behind our backs over this. We are going to have to do our best to support the young people in this city with what we have got.

The council is also putting £4.68m more into its budget to cope with rising numbers of looked after children.

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