Warwickshire Conservatives’ cuts plan would keep firefighters in jobs but hundreds of council staff would still lose theirs

Warwickshire County Council

Warwickshire County Council

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Plans made by Warwickshire County Council’s Conservative Group in the face of large budget cuts could mean that Firefighters will keep their jobs and more social workers will be employed.

But this will come at a cost to the taxpayer and would also mean that 247 council employees will face redundancy over the next three years.

The Conservative Group has published its proposals today (Thursday) which set out how the authority will make £67 million savings by 2020 while “investing in the county’s future”, “helping citizens to help themselves” and ensuring specialist services are “delivered in a cost effective way”.

The group, which leads the council, wants to increase the council tax by 1.99 per cent per annum for the next three years.

It has also pledged to retain only the minimum level of reserves.

This would help the council to scrap some of the savings options which had been put forward by the council’s corporate board, which included axing the jobs of 60 firefighters, reducing routine and reactive highways maintenance, cutting spending in home to school transport and making savings through reductions in the budgets for the county’s network of libraries and One Stop Shops.

The Conservative Group has said it wants to invest in 40 additional children’s social workers plus additional support capacity to reduce caseloads and provide greater support for the vulnerable children, invest in the education system for the most vulnerable learners, protect the elderly by investing in extra care housing and raising the levy for

adult social care to fund additional demand, invest in protecting those who use the roads, generate additional capital to invest in the infrastructure of the county and create a modern and flexible workforce that has the capacity to deliver what is asked of it.

The Conservative Group has said: “This is entirely consistent with our vision. We continue to invest in transport infrastructure to boost the economy.

“We continue to protect vulnerable learners and invest in education.

“We maintain our investment in the third sector and in libraries to support capacity in local communities. And we protect fire cover for our citizens.”

These proposals are currently at a draft stage and additional detail added, particularly around specific capital investment plans, when the level of resources available is known in January.

The group has said: “We commend these proposals to members and look forward to discussions and debate over the next two months.”