Council talks on how to save £3m

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A RANGE of proposals aimed at slashing £3m from a council’s budget are set to be discussed by senior councillors.

Hartlepool Borough Council needs to save £15m over the next three years as a result of national budget cuts, with £6.7m having to be cut from the 2012-13 budget.

Councillors on the cabinet committee are due to meet on Monday to discuss several reports which highlight proposals to save a total of £3,075,000.

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School transport, adult social care, community services and child and adult services are all set to be affected.

But council chiefs have stressed that they will try to minimise the impact on job losses next year.

The majority of savings are expected to come from a review of commissioning and contracts.

The bulk of the savings will come from the adult and social care service, which needs to cut £1.6m.

But officers are looking to protect social work teams and other front-line services.

It is proposed to save the money by decommissioning some low priority services, reviewing contracts and re-tendering and not filling vacant posts and deleting others.

A report to cabinet said: “Subject to approval, there are plans in place to deliver £1.6m of savings within adult social care from April 2012 without impacting on social work teams and with minimal impact on other front-line services.”

Plans to axe £125,000 of funding for free buses to and from faith schools will also be discussed by councillors, as previously reported by the Mail.

The move, which is subject to consultation, would affect 340 pupils at English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, in Catcote Road.

Papers also have proposals to save £408,000 from the prevention, safeguarding and specialist services division of child and adult services by reviewing and renegotiating contracts, working with other authorities to provide training and a review of the management structure.

Meanwhile, the community services team - which includes cultural services, libraries and sport and recreation - is proposing to slash £298,000.

That could effect five posts with an increased reliance on sponsorship and raising income.

It is also proposed to save £128,000 from children’s education services, £220,000 from the corporate strategy division of the chief executive’s department and £146,000 from the extended customer and support services section.

Proposed savings of £115,000 from the children’s services planning and development area include reducing the frequency of condition surveys on all school buildings.

The cabinet committee is due to meet on Monday, December 5, at 9.15am at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road.