Solihull Council’s pledge to protect employees’ jobs during a ten per cent budget reduction this year may not be able to last in the long-term, union officials have warned.
A cabinet meeting on Thursday night approved proposals to make £15 million savings and freeze council tax during the next financial year. The plans will now be considered by full council on March 1.
While welcoming ongoing consultation with the authority, Jolyon Jones, Solihull branch secretary for Unison, voiced fears over the impact the savings measures could have on jobs and existing employees’ workloads.
He said: “Our belief is that there may be some compulsory redundancies. It’s not just this year, it’s what happens in future years.
"They have taken a careful approach but in three or four years’ time, this is a lean authority, there’s no fat to be taken off.
“Whilst we accept that their priority is to protect core services, we believe that the cuts will inevitably put pressure on them.”
The cabinet was also warned Solihull Community Housing tenants could face “great hardship” at the hands of an average £5 weekly rent increase due to the Government’s revised Housing Subsidy system.
Local authorities have been ordered to increase rent by an average 6.8 per cent during 2011-12.
Councillor David Jamieson said: “I think the whole thing is appalling and will see great hardship.”