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Council jobs threat

PUBLISHED: 17:06 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 23 August 2010

HUNDREDS of job cuts must be made as public authorities desperately search for ways to save millions. Kent County Council admits it must remove up to 774 posts in the next five years to help reduce a £200 million deficit. And this week Kent Police Autho

HUNDREDS of job cuts must be made as public authorities desperately search for ways to save millions.

Kent County Council admits it must remove up to 774 posts in the next five years to help reduce a £200 million deficit.

And this week Kent Police Authority revealed its annual budget must be cut by 7 per cent by 2012.

The move has been attacked by Dave Prentis, general secretary union Unison.

He said: "Council's decisions to cut spending, freeze council tax and cut jobs are politically motivated.

"For 2010-2011, councils have received an extra four per cent from the Government and the majority have billions of pounds in unallocated reserves.

John Simmonds, Kent cabinet member for finance revealed they have around £100 million in reserves, allocated for different spending sectors.

As part of KCC cuts he Children, Families and Education department will see 260 posts removed to save £8 million.

David Lewis, treasurer of Kent Police Authority, also admitted serious cuts must be made.

He said: "There will be fewer people employed in the police service in three years time that is inevitable.

"Redundancies will be a last resort but I can't really rule them out. There is a natural turn over of staff and one way will be to remove posts when people move on."

Gravesham Borough Council recently admitted it would be cutting 66 jobs to try as part of a three-year plan to make £2 million in savings.

Council chief executive Glyn Thomson promised that where possible cuts would be made by removing posts after people retired or left rather than through redundancies.

Council leader Mike Snelling said: "We remain determined to preserve frontline services to the public while achieving a balanced budget.

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