Suffolk Council is planning to outsource nearly all its services to cut costs by 30%.
The authority wants to become a strategic council rather than a provider of services, and admits this will lead to it becoming “smaller – employing less staff”.
Trade unions are predicting that Suffolk’s 27,000 staff could be cut to a few hundred. Members are expected to protest outside the council offices at the plans, which councillors will vote on today.
Suffolk Council’s “new strategic direction” is intended to support and strengthen local democracy, to “enable and encourage” more cost-effective services by “divesting” them, and to build community resilience and social capital.
The council is planning on the basis that it will suffer overall cuts of 25% in government funding in the next four years.
In adults’ services, department leaders are bracing themselves for the 2010-11 budget of £199m to be cut by as much as 12%, or £7m, in 2011-12, while funding for children’s services could be reduced from £95m to £91m.
Helen Muddock, secretary of the Suffolk branch of Unison, said: “We are led to believe that the council could end up only employing 200 to 500 people at the end of this process.”
What do you think? Join the debate on CareSpace
Keep up to date with the latest developments in social care. Sign up to our daily and weekly emails