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Warning over knock-on effect of £125m cuts at county council on wider Norfolk workforce

PUBLISHED: 15:27 27 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:50 27 June 2017

Norfolk County Council headquarters. County Hall Martineau Lane, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Norfolk County Council headquarters. County Hall Martineau Lane, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Archant

The knock-on effect of £125m of cuts and savings at Norfolk County Council will affect thousands of workers, union leaders have warned.

The council signalled last week that it would have to save millions of pounds over the next four years, on top of the £334m saved or earmarked to be saved from 2011/12 to 2017/18.
Conservative council leader Cliff Jordan admitted the scale of cuts required was “absolutely horrendous”, while opposition Labour leader Steve Morphew said the council would be “stripped to the bone”.

Mr Jordan hopes to generate more money by the council adopting a more commercial approach.

No figure on how many jobs would be lost has been released, with committees due to meet to decide where to save money in the autumn.

However, the council has said targeted savings include £31m in adult social care, £23.5m from children’s services and £31.2m from community and environmental services.

And UNISON branch secretary Jonathan Dunning warned the impact would be felt far beyond the workers directly employed by County Hall.

He said: “If you look at where the cuts are divided up, there’s a big chunk from adult social care and from children’s services.

“There is bound to be an impact on UNISON members working for the council, but there’s also a big impact on those who work for contractors commissioned by the council.

“There’s a real risk that, in adult social services, we will fail to meet our statutory requirements.

“The impact is going to be felt by low paid workers who face losing their jobs or seeing their pay and conditions worsen further.”

Mr Dunning added that, against the backdrop of the national government’s £1bn deal with the DUP, the latest wave of potential cuts would spark particular anger.

He said: “It’s going to make things heated going forward. UNISON has always opposed cuts, but our members might have reluctantly accepted it on the grounds of there being a credible argument for why they had to happen.

“With Theresa May willing to fund Northern Ireland to save her job, but not interested in the jobs of public service workers, that argument has fallen apart.”

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