Anxiety grows for vulnerable Bexley people as services are already 'cut to the bone' (From News Shopper)
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Anxiety grows for vulnerable Bexley people as services are already 'cut to the bone'
Councillors and union representatives have spoken to News Shopper about how Bexley Council's proposed job losses are a step too far.
The council is suggesting slashing around 360 jobs after central government funding dries up over the next five years.
News Shopper revealed on Friday (July 11) how members are deciding how to plug the £40 million savings gap which must be filled by 2019.
However some councillors and union representatives are anxious about how the borough will cope with the cuts.
Unite’s Onay Kasab regional representative said: “For that number of jobs to go, it is impossible for that number of jobs to go without there being an impact on services.
“At the moment these services are already either cut or privatised to the bone anyway.
"Particularly with frontline services, it is just not credible. Workers were on strike last week already.
“It is absolute nonsense that the council could cut that many posts and maintain services at the same time.”
Regional organiser for GMB Clive Smith said: "This is really worrying news. We will looking to defend frontline services and to protect our members in the council.
"When the council reduces staff, front line employees will be affected and we are particularly worried about vulnerable members of our society."
UKIP group deputy leader Councillor Chris Beazley said: "I think it is going to have a big effect on residents.
"It is too much for the chief executive to be paid a quarter of a million pounds.
"I have friends who work at the council and they are barely on minimum wage.
"They need to look at the packages they give the top people and their salaries.
"We don’t need three councillors for each ward and we don’t need a separate council leader and chief executive. Essentially they do the same thing."
Labour's finance and resources spokesman Councillor Daniel Francis said: "We will be working over the coming weeks to understand the detail of the council's proposals to save a further £40m of its annual spend.
"The Labour group will be scrutinising how these cuts and nearly 400 job losses will affect frontline services, council staff on lower salaries and working families alongside many of our more vulnerable residents."
The savings proposals will also be discussed at a meeting on Wednesday when other proposals will be considered including renegotiation of staff terms and conditions and a four-year pay freeze for management.
The agenda report describes how Bexley Council is considering getting rid of around 360 full-time employees out of its 1,700-strong workforce by 2018.
The cabinet meeting is open to the public and will take place at 7.30pm on July 15 at the Civic Offices in Watling Street.