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Local authority to axe 550 jobs

Thursday February 9th 2012

A local authority has announced plans to axe more than 500 jobs in a bid to save £55 million this year.

Sheffield City Council plans to shed 550 posts, 140 fewer than a previous estimate of 690.

They come amid a row about the Labour administration's controversial decision to end weekly refuse collections in the South Yorkshire city.

And the Lib Dem opposition criticised plans to spend around £400,000 on an "appropriate communications campaign" to ensure residents "understand the changes" to the bin collection service when massive cuts are being made elsewhere.

The cost-cutting move to fortnightly rubbish collections is aimed at saving £1.6 million in 2012 and £2.4 million in subsequent years.

City council leader Julie Dore said the budget would be coupled with a council tax freeze and represented "a fair deal" which had been drawn up "in very difficult circumstances"

She said it aimed to protect the most vulnerable groups in the community and safeguarding "much-loved assets" such as libraries and parks.

"We are facing a huge funding gap, not only this year but in years to come, so we need to make the right decisions now," she added.

The budget proposals, which will be discussed at a meeting of the council's cabinet next week, are subject to approval by the full council next month.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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