A RAFT of public services in South Derbyshire face the axe after the county council revealed the true impact of the cuts to its budget.
Leader of Derbyshire County Council Anne Western said that the ‘unrelenting’ cuts will force it to remove some services from the local community completely as well as resulting in around 2,000 job losses in addition to the 1,600 announced last year. It has been told that it must cut £157 million from its budget by 2018.
However the council hopes that job losses will be minimised by not replacing staff who leave and by voluntary redundancy and early retirement schemes, with every effort will being made to avoid compulsory redundancies. It will meet on July 15 to discuss further budget reductions over the next three years, which are expected to total nearly £70 million.
Included in the proposals are plans to scrap school crossing patrols at all locations across Derbyshire unless alternative ways of funding the service at individual sites can be found. It is also proposing to cut all funding for community transport services, including the one currently operating in Swadlincote.
Chairman of South Derbyshire District Council Pat Murray, who was previously involved with the community transport scheme, told the Mail he would be ‘upset’ should the service be scrapped. He said: “I feel sorry for people that use the scheme. It’s a very good scheme and I fear that some of the people that use the service will be housebound as a result.
“When I was involved, it was always used and full to capacity although I don’t know what it’s like now. It’s just a shame that the county council feel this is an area where cuts can be made.”
The proposals also include cutting funds allocated to Direct Care by 25 per cent, as well as discontinuing the b_line concessionary travel and discount scheme for 11 to 19-year-olds, unless an alternative solution to fund the service can be found. The future of children’s centres is also under threat, with the potential closure of 23 across the county.