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Bristol plans 300 more job losses in draft budget

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Bristol City Council have published a draft budget setting out a 20% cut in spending over the next four years.

Council leader Barbara Janke held a news conference to launch the proposals which include a a reduction of 300 posts in the next year on top of 400 that have already gone.

The council has not made any redundancies yet and hopes that only 120 voluntary severence arrangements will have to be made in total.

Residents and staff have taken part in a “Budget Conversation” making suggestions for the how the council could save money and council leader Barbara Janke (Lib Dem), left, said that dialogue would continue.

“These are not the final figures,” she said. “There are major unknowns still to be faced before we’re in a position to finalise our budget for 2011-12. But we wanted staff and the public to see as soon as possible what direction we were taking.”

The budget was “not all about cuts”, she added. “This council is seizing the opportunity to reshape, to become much more efficient - and to change its focus.”

The council intends to devolve power to Neighbourhood Partnerships and that would mean fewer central staff would be required, she said.

Other proposals include saving money on supplier contracts, spending money on prevention work instead of reactive services, selling services and raising charges, including a 2% council tax increase.

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