Worried staff face the axe as council cuts begin to bite

Marijke Peters SUPPORT staff will be axed at the council in a bid to help Haringey balance its books this year. Council leader Cllr George Meehan announced a 3 per cent increase in council tax on Monday, an average rise of 63p a week per person. He said:

Marijke Peters

SUPPORT staff will be axed at the council in a bid to help Haringey balance its books this year.

Council leader Cllr George Meehan announced a 3 per cent increase in council tax on Monday, an average rise of 63p a week per person.

He said: "Quite a lot of work had to go into this budget but we are presenting a budget that will continue to deliver good quality services to the people of Haringey. That's what we were elected to do and we will continue to carry on doing it."


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Despite keeping the increase below inflation - and the London average rise of 3.9 per cent - the council will be getting rid of backroom staff, including those who work in the library service.

Cllr Meehan said Haringey had received a lower grant from Whitehall than other London boroughs.

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"There are a number of reductions in back room support but we don't believe it will affect delivery," he said.

"In the library services, for example, 76,000 actions are now done by computers and that means you need less staff."

Keith Flett, chairman of Haringey Trades Union Council, said: "This is clearly not the view of library workers - they believe this move will downgrade professional experts in the service.

"The council hasn't bothered to tell library users what it is doing, or listened to what workers have to say. That ought to be a prerequisite.

"With the value that the Government correctly places on skills and learning, now is not the time to downgrade Haringey's libraries as part of a short-term measure to meet a cash shortfall. We will be launching a campaign to stop the cuts."

There will be increased spending in several areas identified by residents, including recycling, street cleaning and youth services.

More money will be spent on children's services and an extra £2million will be spent on tackling homelessness and reducing the number of families living in temporary accommodation.

Government funding for schools in Haringey has been set above the national average, with an increase of 6.9 per cent per pupil.

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