Union says council’s cutbacks are reckless

Care home plan set to be refused

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CUTBACKS at Hampshire County Council have been labelled as ‘reckless and dangerous’ by a workers’ union.

Unison made the statement after it was announced on Monday that the council needed to cut another £98m from its budget by 2017.

This latest wave of cost-cutting is the fourth since 2008, which has seen £240m slashed from the council’s budget and 2,400 jobs axed.

Unison spokesman Tim Cutter said: ‘These cuts are both reckless and dangerous.

‘The council admits that front-line services will be affected.

‘We would add that front-line services have already been hit by previous cuts and 1,700 job losses over the last few years.

‘It will mean the council will not be able to provide a safe service for those vulnerable people in society that our members are so dedicated to supporting.

‘The council has £419m in reserves, it should spend this to protect public services.’

The council’s chief executive Andrew Smith said the savings would be made by cutting back office spending, digitising more services, retraining and redeploying staff, and not replacing 
about 1,000 staff who naturally leave the council during the year.