Shropshire Council plans to cut its staffing budget by nearly 20% as it seeks to secure its “financial survival” with over £62million worth of cost savings.

Papers set to go before the council’s cabinet next week set out plans to axe £27m from its net staffing budget of around £140m, with the planned savings forming a major part of the authority’s package of cost cuts for this financial year.

However the authority says it hopes not to make large scale redundancies, despite the figure adding up to the equivalent of around 500 full time jobs.

Instead, the council says a programme of voluntary redundancies launched earlier this year alongside a policy not to recruit to some currently vacant posts will reduce the authority’s numbers, with senior management expected to bear the brunt of any staff cuts. The number of assistant directors employed by the council is expected to shrink by around 20%.

The council says a future smaller operating model will make it a “more efficient” organisation.


“Our financial position is still exceptionally challenging, and our financial survival is key,” said Shropshire Council leader Lezley Picton.

“The savings we have already identified, along with our commitment to detailed monthly reporting, will give us the best chance to overcome this. At this early stage in the financial year there is still time for us to act and end the year with a balanced budget.”

Early financial reporting for the year indicates the authority is in line for a £38m overspend unless further savings can be found, which it says can be met with reserve balances.

The council says reducing the amount of money it spends employing agency staff is also key to its plans – including “poaching” staff from agencies to work directly for the council whenever it can.

“Our legal duty to set and maintain a balanced budget means we must leave no stone unturned and that means making decisions we never wanted to make,” added Councillor Picton.

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“A significant part of our savings plans is to reduce our spending with third parties and to change the way our customers interact with us, making this more efficient for customers and colleagues.

“We are working through the resizing steps carefully to limit any adverse impact to our statutory duties and focusing our resources on those services that support our most vulnerable residents.

“We will change the way we work to deliver these as efficiently as possible, doing the right jobs in the right way, as the council we need to be.”

The report will be discussed at the council’s Transformation Scrutiny Committee on Monday, July 15.