‘We plan to stay in business and protect jobs as far as possible’ says civic leader

Lee Hockaday, commercial director at St Vincent College, Gosport

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JOBS in local government will be protected ‘as far as possible’, a council leader has said.

Councillor Roy Perry, leader of Hampshire County Council, stressed that government austerity is set to continue for several years to come, with the Winchester-based authority set to lose 40 per cent of its grant.

As reported, the council employs around 40,000 people and will be looking to axe around 1,000 staff to save around £90m on top of the £130m it has already saved through cuts.

Cllr Perry said: ‘The local government landscape is changing rapidly and while other councils are reducing capacity and buying in services from private companies or other local authorities, Hampshire’s approach is different.

‘I’ve already said that we are not planning any major outsourcing of services and we plan to stay in business and protect jobs as far as possible, providing the best services we can, while keeping the council tax low.

‘That means building and strengthening our own in-house services, and to do that we’ve tapped into expert knowledge and private industry experience and ensured we have applied independent scrutiny. The public sector needs to learn from the private sector.’

Cllr Perry also responded to a question at the full county council meeting about the use of private consultants.

He said: ‘We’ve used external advisers from the private sector to work alongside us to strengthen our commercial capacity. Our aim is to create growth, while our staff develop the commercial skills and expertise needed for the future.’