Norfolk County Council plans 3,000 job cuts

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The Independent Online

Conservative-controlled Norfolk County Council today announced plans to shed around one in three of its non-school staff over the next four years in the wake of cuts in local government funding.

The council, a local education authority, said its 26,000 workforce would shrink by more than 3,000 by 2014.

Officials said teachers were protected and the vast bulk of cuts would be among the 9,500 staff not working in schools.

They said it was hoped more than half of the 3,000 people affected would switch to similar jobs with private firms as services currently run by the council were farmed out.

Council leaders said they aimed to save around £150 million by making the organisation "more streamlined and efficient".

"Only a fundamental reshaping of (our) priorities and activities will do in the face of the biggest reductions in public service spending since the 1970s," said a council spokesman.

"(We) envisage a sharp reduction in its costs, seeing (the council) reduce in size and a radical and innovative reshaping of council services, so that the council of the future delivers less itself - and commissions more from others.

"As part of this, the county council expects its workforce will shrink by more than 3,000 between now and 2014 as it becomes more streamlined and efficient in the way it works."

Bosses said they planned to save:

* £48 million through "cost cutting or income generating efficiencies" such as "further streamlining staffing costs, rationalising office assets and better buying whilst perhaps asking people to pay the full cost of some of the services they receive".

* £29 million through "redesigning and streamlining services and business processes".

* £73 million through "scaling back the scope and volume of services and stopping some non-essential work to direct as much as possible to protecting top priorities".