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More than 400 jobs to be cut from Manchester’s social care services

The council has proposed to integrate its adult and children's services and shed jobs in a bid to save more than £40m, but says frontline social work posts will not be affected.

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More than 400 posts could be axed from Manchester council’s children’s and adult services if a proposal to merge the two departments goes ahead.

The local authority said frontline social workers would be protected from the cuts, but could not provide further details on how many managerial, administrative and other roles would be affected.

The proposals were revealed in the council’s draft budget for 2013-14, published today. It is hoped integrating the services will save £41.5m over the next two years.

Manchester saved £170m from its budget between 2011 and 2013, but, following the latest financial settlement from central government, it must save a further £80m by 2014-15.

Around 830 jobs across the council will be cut over the next two years, on top of more than 2,000 since 2011. The council said it would aim to avoid compulsory redundancies by offering voluntary early retirement.

Council leader Richard Leese said: “It is inescapable that the funding gap we have been left with, coming as it does on top of the severe budget reductions imposed on us in the previous two years, means the council has to make very real cuts and at the same time make fundamental changes to the way it operates.”

He added: “Imaginative restructuring of services to promote better integration will mean better outcomes for many of our most vulnerable residents.”

The draft budget will be considered by the council’s executive when it meets on 23 January and a consultation with residents and businesses opens today. A final budget will be approved at a council meeting on 8 March.

Glasgow council also published its draft two-year budget today, pledging to protect social work “in relative terms”.

Budget proposals include an £11m boost for child care, including increased support for kinship carers, almost £1 million to recruit additional staff to support young people and their families and £5m to build and run two residential children’s homes.

The council also plans to free up more than £4m to increase the number of foster carers and adoptive parents in the city.

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