Funding squeeze could see more job cuts at Hull and East Riding councils
THE leaders of the region's two main councils say a continued squeeze on public funding will inevitably lead to more budget cuts and further job losses.
An estimated 170 posts are at risk of redundancy at East Riding Council over the next two years.
At the same time, a programme initially aimed at delivering £14 million of annual savings at the authority is being accelerated with a revised target of saving £22 million a year until 2015.
In Hull, city council leader Steve Brady has predicted the authority's overall budget will have been slashed by 40 per cent over the lifetime of the current parliament.
East Riding leader Councillor Steven Parnaby said he expected the number of redundancies would be far fewer than the 170 posts currently identified.
He said: "I anticipate this number will be substantially reduced through the continued operation of the council's redeployment policies. I want to emphasise there are no additional redundancies being contemplated."
Mr Parnaby said a similar exercise carried out over the past two years involving 140 posts had ended up with 47 eventually being declared redundant.
He said: "Ten of those were employed on fixed-term contracts and a further 47 employees, who would otherwise have lost their jobs, were redeployed elsewhere in the council, which is a great achievement.
"This is in sharp contrast to many other councils locally and nationally."
He said the East Riding was not being treated differently to other councils but was working hard to keep actual job losses and any impact on frontline services to a minimum.
Mr Parnaby said: "The council has been planning for the public expenditure cuts from the beginning of 2009 with the elimination of non-essential spending, cutting costs and through vacancy management.
"This approach has achieved significant budget underspends, which have been used to provide headroom to cushion the impact of future budget cuts and to provide time for the council's business transformation programme and service reviews to be implemented."
He said budget underspends would continue to be used to ease financial pressure on services such as adult care and highways.
Mr Parnaby also praised staff at the authority, many of whom have not had a pay increase for three years.
"We are all in this together in the East Riding – members and officers working together to protect services that our residents and communities demand and deserve," he said.