£35m cuts and 300 job losses announced by Mayor in draft budget

January 7, 2013

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson has announced plans to shed more than 300 city council jobs and raise council tax as part of a plan to slash £35m – or 9% – from the budget.

Mr Ferguson, elected as the city’s first mayor in November, also announced that funding for 32 police community support officers will be cut and parking charges brought in at Blaise Castle and Oldbury Court.

He said the job cuts would be mostly administrative posts and less than a third would be compulsory redundancies. The move, which would save about £19.5m, would involve “cutting from the top”, he told the BBC.

He also proposed a council tax rise of just under 2%.

Mr Ferguson, who stood in the mayoral election as an Independent, said he was bringing in people from the business sector to assist with budgeting and had already had voluntary help in coming up with the proposals.

He said that when he ran for office he believed he would be facing £28m of cuts for 2013/14 not £35m.

“It’s important we treat running the city council as a business,” he said in a BBC interview.

“I do believe the cuts are responsible and it would be irresponsible not to put up council tax.”

The savings, he said, meant he could spend £3m more on safeguarding children and young people, and an extra £3m on older people and vulnerable adults.

Public services union Unison called the number of redundancies “an astonishing blow”.


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