Council neighbourhood services team to be hit by £36k cuts

Denise Ogden director Regeneration & Neighbourhoods, Hartlepool Borough Council
Denise Ogden director Regeneration & Neighbourhoods, Hartlepool Borough Council

Hartlepool Council neighbourhood services team is to be hit by £36,000 cuts as part of what is described as the local authority’s ‘most challenging year yet’.

The council is expected to face a deficit of £5.987million for 2019/2020 - which is predicted to worsen for the two years after.

Council bosses have attributed the deficit to cuts in Hartlepool’s core government funding, which by 2019/20 will be 45% less than in 2013/14 – a reduction of £20.9m.

The council neighbourhood services committee approved making the recommended savings of £36,000 for its budget next year as the council looks to save money.

The savings will come from the environmental health department and the proposal is expected to lead to one compulsory redundancy and the reduction of hours in an administrative support post.

Denise Ogden, council director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, said: “The move to generic working within this team will allow us to move our resources to the area of demand and maintain service provision.

“We will do everything we can to minimise redundancies and maximise opportunities for staff.

“This is on the back of eight years of austerity and it goes to show this is the most challenging year there has been for the council.

“That statement is going to continue going forward each year.”

It comes as council bosses said changes in legislation and government direction have resulted in the need for the environmental health service to be restructured providing greater resilience and flexibility.

The neighbourhood services team is responsible for dealing with issues such as environmental health, waste disposal, certain road safety schemes, allotments and public protection.

The savings will be reported back to the council finance and policy committee on November 26.

Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service