Leader of SKDC says jobs had to go under tough government cuts

South Kesteven District Council leader Linda Neal ENGEMN00120130731123901
South Kesteven District Council leader Linda Neal ENGEMN00120130731123901
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The leader of South Kesteven District Council says cuts in jobs at the authority have been necessary but have not affected services as much as other areas of the country.

As part of cuts at SKDC, Coun Linda Neal says nine heads of service jobs have gone and have been replaced by five executive business managers.

In a statement today Mrs Neal said: “The way local government is financed has changed forever. All councils have seen reductions in the grant they receive from central government and George Osborne’s Autumn Statement made it clear that the tough fiscal approach was to continue.

“No doubt you will all have read in the papers, seen on television, or heard on the radio, about councils which have slashed services and made hundreds of staff redundant as they have wrestled to cope with the changed financial circumstances they find themselves in.

“Because of strict financial management and adopting a careful approach to making savings we have been able to maintain services without making sweeping cuts, but we are still facing significant challenges and uncertainty about future funding over the next few years.

“We need to ensure that we plan ahead and develop a programme of activity to look at how we do things and how we can do things differently – a Fit for the Future initiative which has examined everything from where we can continue to make savings through to the options available to continue to deliver services more cost effectively whilst maintaining quality.

“We are committed to maintaining frontline services which local people tell us are important to them, so savings initiatives and using external providers were never going to be the only areas of focus.

“We have redesigned our management structure and reduced the number of management posts. For example nine former Heads of Service have been replaced by five Executive Business Managers and there have been other reductions across the organisation.

“This will mean that managers will take on additional or new responsibilities and, when completed, this will produce significant savings which will be redirected to frontline provision.

“The saying no pain no gain springs to mind, but we really had no choice if we are to continue to grow Grantham and really put the town on the map. Others are seeing our potential as evidenced by Marks & Spencer returning to the town, food manufacturer Oscar Meyer choosing to locate here rather than other places that were actively chasing them, and construction of the relief road is due to start next year.

“We are only an hour from London by train, we have fantastic north-south road links provided by the A1, and we have easy road links to all the Midlands cities.

“When you combine this with the quality of life we have in lovely Lincolnshire we have a powerful sales story which features great schools, beautiful villages, a low crime rate and some of the lowest house prices in the country.

Our aim is to help Grantham reach its full potential and our new structure will help us to reach this goal.”