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Camden Council to axe almost 1,000 jobs and cut frontline services in 2015

PUBLISHED: 15:01 21 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:01 21 February 2014

Cllr Theo Blackwell, cabinet member for finance, atop Camden Town Hall. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Cllr Theo Blackwell, cabinet member for finance, atop Camden Town Hall. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Camden Council will be forced to axe almost 1,000 jobs and drastically reduce frontline services from next year to deal with a £70million budget cut from central government.

Finance chief Cllr Theo Blackwell told the Ham&High the council would have to make a similar number of redundancies to the 975 posts that were lost following the last budget cuts in 2010.

He said the council would “without a doubt” cut frontline services in 2015, adding: “There will be a real discussion with the electorate about public services and how they are run and some quite significant decisions will have to be made and that includes the council doing less.”

Cllr Blackwell was speaking following the publication of the council’s proposed budget for the 2014/2015 financial year this week.

He explained there would be no job losses or service changes in the year ahead as a £10million budget deficit would be met by back-office cuts, including changes to workers’ contracts and the council’s scheduled move to new offices in the summer.

The council is set to save £2.4million annually from its move to new headquarters in Pancras Square, King’s Cross, according to Cllr Blackwell.

Between 2015 and 2018, however, the council will have to deal with a £70million budget cut from government which Cllr Blackwell described as the “equivalent of raising council tax by £311”.

He said the council is eyeing a “20% reduction in middle managers”, explaining: “Quite a lot of people have a feeling that the council maybe slightly overstaffed in certain areas. We have too many managers between the frontline and people setting the strategy.”

The £80million cut in budget funding from central government over the next four years follows an earlier cut of £83million between 2010 and 2014 - which the council has successfully met - meaning Camden will have lost £163million in government funding from 2010 to 2018.

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