Wakefield Council to cut £38m and 100 jobs

Wakefield Town Hall
Wakefield Town Hall

Wakefield Council is expected to slash jobs and cut funding to public services as it looks to make £38m of cuts over the next year.

Council leader Peter Box said the cuts presented the authority with the highest amount of savings it has ever faced.

The budget report, which will be considered by cabinet on Tuesday, Feburary 3, proposes cuts of £20m from the adult care budget and £5m from services for children and young people.

Up to another 100 jobs are expected to be lost over the next year - on top of the 1,400 predicted in last year’s budget.

1,000 staff have already lost jobs as part of the proposals.

A rise of just under two per cent in council tax is also proposed as part of the budget.

It has previously been frozen in 2011/12 and 2012/13, which Coun Box said has cost the council £12m.

Coun Box said: “Our funding has been cut so severely that the decisions we have to make now will have an impact on people’s lives.

“Changes will be widespread from how often we can cut the grass in our parks to changes in services for children and adults.

“We can no longer protect services to children and adults because they account for 60% of our spending and we simply cannot meet growing demands without a fundamental review of what we do and how we do it.”

Savings being proposed include:

• £20m from adult services

• £2.5m on early years services

• £2.5m from reducing demand for reactive & specialist services for children and young people

• £2m from future delivery of property, buildings & facilities services

• £383k from stopping sport development activity

• £230 from further commercialisation of Pugneys

• £200k from the closure of Woolley Hall

• £125k from parks and open spaces

• £98k by increasing bulky waste collection charges

Coun Box added: “There is no doubt that budget cuts on the relentless scale we have seen make any investment very difficult. But this is a challenge we must meet because it is absolutely essential that we continue to invest in the future viability of the district.

“We must protect and support economic growth. We must invest to maintain our roads, schools and leisure facilities, to regenerate our towns and ensure our cultural heritage endures. Our vulnerable young people and older people still need our help and protection, and we have to invest to provide this support

“However there is a limit to what we can do and we are now perilously close to it.”