At a meeting yesterday, town hall unions were told how the authority is making good progress on its savings target for this year of£24m. However the council expects the budget for next year (2007/08) to be equally challenging and big savings will be needed once again.
'We expect the settlement grant from central government to be lower than we need. The challenge is to keep improving performance and find savings that keep the effect on services and staff numbers to a minimum. One of the ways we can do this is by taking a fresh look at the mix of our pay bill costs. For this reason we have begun consultation with the unions about changes to redundancy terms and pay rises.'
Changes to redundancy arrangements are also driven by new age discrimination legislation that requires all local authorities to review their redundancy policies.