50 Torfaen Council Jobs At Risk

UP to 50 Torfaen council workers could lose their jobs as the authority looks to make savings following a lower than expected Assembly settlement.

The council’s cabinet committee met yesterday to pin-point savings which now need to be made across the authority to address a funding gap of £1.7million.

A report written by Torfaen council’s chief financial officer, Nigel Aurelius stated that redundancies were necessary to protect priority services.

Mr Aurelius said in the worst case scenario up to 50 of the 6,500 workers could go but it was too early to say in which areas they would be.

A spokesman for Torfaen council yesterday confirmed the council has officially invited staff to express their interest to take voluntary redundancy.

He also said the council is restricting recruitment to maximise redeployment opportunities for existing workers.

Nigel Aurelius said: “Neither the public sector nor this council is immune from these difficult times.

“It is the first time in a long time that local government has to develop its financial plans and strategies within the context of a recession.”

The council’s final revenue settlement for 2009/2010 was £58,000 less than the provisional figure indicated, and is now set at £127,944,000 an increase of 2.4 per cent from the previous year.

To address the resulting £1.7million funding gap all council services, excluding schools and social care and housing, were asked to find savings in their budgets.

The proposals put forward were reviewed to find “do-able” money targets for each service area.

The savings indicated are: education (excluding schools) £300,000, planning and public protection £103,000, regeneration £270,000, strategic services £271,000, resources £327,100 and corporate efficiencies £405,000.

The savings will be the subject of a scrutiny review in February.

The final budget proposals are due to go before Torfaen council on February 24 and the authority’s council tax will be set on March 3.