DOZENS more Kirklees Council managers will lose their jobs, it was revealed last night.
Up to 50 highly-paid officers will go in the latest cull, as the council tries to cut its budget by a quarter in the next five years.
Kirklees leader Clr Mehboob Khan announced the job losses at the monthly council meeting at Cleckheaton Town Hall. The council plans to cut its third layer of management from 105 to between 55 and 60. The cuts will get under way in September and will save the council between £2m and £3m a year.
Clr Khan said: “There are very, very difficult decisions that we have to make.”
Kirklees has already reduced its number of heads of service from seven to four, and the number of assistant directors will drop from 29 to 13. The 105 managers affected by the latest cuts are the next tier down, reporting directly to assistant directors.
Kirklees is in the middle of a series of job losses to help reduce its budget by 25% by 2015. The council’s non-school staff will fall from 11,200 to 9,700.
Last night the council also agreed on a fresh round of cuts. The Tory / Lib Dem coalition government has ordered councils nationwide to find £1.66bn of new savings by April 2011.
Kirklees has to make £7.1m of cuts this year, including £4.1m from Environment and Public Protection, £2.66m from the Children and Young People Service and £330,000 from Wellbeing and Communities.
Clr Khan said the council was in a good position to deal with cuts. The Greenhead Labour man said: “We were a year ahead of other councils in planning for this budget downturn.”
Councillors clashed over which party was responsible for the budget cuts. Labour Heckmondwike man Clr David Sheard accused some in the Government of enjoying the cuts.
He added: “Their medicine tastes nasty and I don’t think it’s doing us any good.”
But Conservative councillors blamed the last Labour government for the public spending squeeze. Mirfield Tory Clr Martyn Bolt told Labour councillors: “This malaise is your legacy from your government of the last 13 years. That’s what has put us in this position.”
Lib Dem leader Clr Kath Pinnock said: “Whichever party was elected there would be substantial reductions in spending. There’s an opportunity to let the council do its best in a different way.” But the Cleckheaton councillor added that Kirklees had an opportunity to improve.
Kirklees Green leader Clr Andrew Cooper said there was no need for the Government to cut spending so quickly. The Newsome man said: “There are people in this government who want to reduce the size of the state.”