Sheffield Council needs to save £50.9m next year - chiefs reveal

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall

Sheffield Council has not confirmed whether more job losses will be considered as it looks to save £50.9m next year.

The authority released details of the reductions it is expecting to make and said it was ‘presenting the financial challenge it faces’ ahead of the Government’s spending review.

In the last five years the council has saved £300 million from its budget to meet cuts - with some of the most high profile services affecting including libraries, 15 of which are now run by community groups, and gritting although those cuts were later reversed.

The council says that it will have to find £50.9 million to meet cuts, increased demend for services such as adult social care and other ‘cost pressures.’

Staff are currently ‘developing ideas’ to deal with the reductions and will be bringing forward proposals for consultation over the next few months.

But when asked if job cuts could be ruled out or were being considered as part of the plans, the council did not comment.

Coun Ben Curran, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “Government cuts have hit Sheffield harder than many other areas of the country.

“The council has had to transform how it works and deliver services over the past five years to balance the books.

“Above all, we have reduced spending on accommodation and IT by £35 million in recent years to focus the money we have left on meeting the challenges we face as a city and continue to protect the people who need our help and support the most, as much as we can.”

Coun Curran has also called for the Government to take a ‘new approach.’

“The road that the Government are taking us down is unsustainable”, he said.

“It creates serious risks for a number of key services such as adult social care.

“Although we will continue to do everything we can to innovate and protect services, what we really need is a change of approach from the Government.”

Last year the council ran a public consultation as part of saving £60m. The authority’s 2015-16 budget included cuts to theatre subsidies and the first rise in council tax for five years.

Up to 200 job posts were set to be axed, but the number ended up closer to 98. Adult social care last year faced £9.2 million of cuts while contracts on waste, highways and payroll services were also squeezed to save cash.