Recruitment slashed at Staffordshire County Council
Recruitment is being slashed at Staffordshire County Council in a bid to save £1 million, it was revealed today.
Staffordshire County Council will only replace what it calls 'essential' staff for the coming year and has halted recruitment of jobs it classes as non-essential
Bosses say they will aim to keep taking on workers needed for frontline services - and insist each job will be judged on its importance but recruitment of temporary workers and consultants will also be cut.
The authority is battling to make £102 million of cuts over the next five years. It has already sparked outrage for slashing its grants for elderly and vulnerable people, with hundreds losing out on emergency pendant alarms to let people know if they have suffered a fall.
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Up to 34 youth clubs across the county also face closure unless other organisations take them over.
And volunteers are being drafted in to run 24 of the county's 43 libraries in a bid to save £1.3 million.
A report by council leader Philip Atkins states: "To help manage pressures, there is to be a challenge across all council services around recruitment of staff. This will entail replacing only essential posts, and halting recruitment of non essential staff.
"This also includes limitations on interim staff, consultants and all significant external spend."
It adds: "This is designed to achieve short term financial gains and will not affect the council's ability to deliver on its responsibilities.
"It is predicted that this challenge can make a saving of £1m in year."
And bosses say this money will be saved across all services.
The council has not revealed how many jobs are being lost this financial year as they cutbacks are still in progress, with the future of some libraries and youth centres still not known.
Councillor Atkins added: "Staffordshire people are living longer and leading more fulfilled lives regardless of age or disability which is what we all want, but this does mean we are experiencing significant extra demand for many of the services we provide, in particular for care.
"In addition positive changes in legislation, for instance to support young people in care for longer to help them into adulthood, are increasing pressures on our budgets. It is incredibly difficult to forecast this growing demand but as a well-run council we constantly manage our resources to provide the right support.
"The council is continuing to modernise, to find innovative ways of delivering greater impact from the resources available. It is important that we make changes in the right way and at the right pace, listening to Staffordshire people and remaining flexible in our approach."