Redundancies expected at council

Redundancies are expected at Wealden Council as it investigates sharing services with other councils in a bid to cut costs.

County-wide arrangements could be set up for refuse and recycling collections, the Wealden building inspection service could be shared with Eastbourne Borough Council, emergency planning work could be shared with East Sussex County Council and printing services with Rother.

Internally the council's IT service has been reorganised, the environmental protection and public health services are to be merged and benefits and planning services are to be 'fine-tuned'.

Some services may, in future, be carried out by outside contractors. Following a market-testing process major repairs to council houses will be put out to tender. The council's surveying work, grounds maintenance and management of its offices will also be tested in the same way.

A press release from the council says it is aiming to save up to £2.7 million of tax-payers' money over the next three years.

The effect of the recession on council revenues, reduced Government spending and the desire to keep council tax as low as possible has led to the on-going review of how the council operates.

'Councillors and council staff have worked together to identify the savings that can be mde, and we have been listening carefully to what tax payers have been saying,' said Cllr Pam Doodes, leader of the council. 'The process will unfortunately lead to some redundancies but we are seeking to retrain staff wherever possible.'

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