Thursday, 8 February 2007

"Cash Strapped" - You must be joking!

Redcar and Cleveland Council today is furious at claims it is a 'cash-strapped' council as it underlined budget proposals which will invest £6.5million into the Borough to improve services for the elderly, young people and the environment.

The Council’s policy and its 2007/2008 budget has already inspired job creation in the private sector, with three new independent care homes planned for the Borough.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources Councillor Glyn Nightingale dismissed ‘ill-informed’ criticisms of the Authority’s plan to shed over 100 posts in administration and management as well as cutting back on overheads to effect efficiency savings of £6.5million.

Councillor Nightingale said: “The Trade Union-inspired scaremongering does nothing for staff morale and industrial relations.

“Our investment is bringing three new care homes – the first alone will create 90 jobs. Our budget is bringing about a net increase in jobs.

"The public should ask themselves: do they want taxpayers’ money on administration, management and outmoded services no-one wants or do they want it on improved services that are responsive to the needs of the individual.

“The suggestion that these are the actions of a cash-strapped council is a total misrepresentation of the facts – ill-informed and politically motivated. We are not cash-strapped. This is a deliberate policy to make savings and put the money saved into investment on frontline services.

“The critics need to explain if we are cash-strapped how we can be spending £6.5m to improve a range of services that include over £3m in improving services for older people and the disabled, nearly £2m in improving services for children and young people and well over £1m on the environment.”

Councillor Nightingale added: “Over the last two years, across 7,000 employees, there have been approximately 104 voluntary redundancies and 160 early retirements. We always receive more requests than we are able to allow – this time we received 200 requests.

"The Council is continuing to refuse to waste money on employing staff it no longer needs but is promoting job growth in the private and voluntary sectors. The Council should be judged on the quality of services it provides not the number of people it employs."

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