Voluntary redundancies help save Hampshire County Council £46m

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VOLUNTARY redundancies at Hampshire County Council will help it save £46m by the end of the 2013/14 financial year.

The combination of the council’s recruitment freeze and redundancy programme has resulted in a reduction of 1,469 full-time equivalent posts. Redundancies accounted for 868 of these – only 16 of which were compulsory.

Councillor Ken Thornber, leader of the county council, said: ‘We’ve had to reduce our pay bill as part of overall plans to cut operating costs while minimising the impact on front-line services.

‘Losing highly valued staff has not been easy for us and we are hugely grateful to them for the contribution they have made in the past to the county council and the services we provide. We do appreciate their co-operation in helping the county council evolve to meet the demands of the current austere economic climate, and a savings target of £100m in two years.

‘Obviously, with a reduced level of staffing the council’s capacity is not what it was before and we are transforming the way in which we work in order to adapt.’

The council introduced its voluntary redundancy scheme to deal with the impact of cuts in public sector funding under the government’s four-year comprehensive spending review. Hampshire lost 14.3 per cent of its government grant last year with an extra cut of 10.4 per cent in 2012/13. Further cuts will be confirmed for the next two years.