Ashfield District Council cabinet agree on energy savings

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COUNCILLORS in Ashfield have announced plans to make savings over the next five years as Government cuts continue to bite.

Ashfield District Council’s cabinet has agreed to make efficiency savings in several key areas to stop frontline services being affected by the reduction in grants.

The proposals, approved at a meeting on Thursday, include reducing waste and bureaucracy in departments such as customer services, housing and council tax benefits, waste and the environment and regeneration and culture.

Council bosses also plan to share more services with neighbouring councils like Mansfield, as well as making sure fees and charges cover the cost of services offered by the authority.

They say the authority will save £1.9m in the next financial year 2012/13. The council then plans to make savings of £1.6m in 2013/14; £1.3m in 2014/15 and £0.2m in £2015/16.

The cabinet also agreed to review staffing levels - but Labour councillor Steve Carroll says the council wanted to work with employees to avoid compulsory redundancies.

Instead, it is hoped staff members who are interested in voluntary redundancy will take it, while existing vacancies will be looked at to see if there are alternative ways of delivering the service.

Coun Carroll said: “What we want to do is manage it and work with our employees and hopefully get to the point where we are not making compulsory redundancies.

“We want to act in a responsible way. If we can plan things in a co-ordinated way, it is far better than walking around with our heads in the sand.”