Job Cuts in Children's Services

Up to 60 jobs could go in Devon's Children's Services following cuts in public spending.

The county council's been told to make over £3.1 million of savings from this year's Children's Services' budget as part of Government cost-cutting.

It is hoped many of the jobs will be part-time positions and Heart has been told that the general public should not notice the cuts.

County council leader John Hart said: "We obviously regret having to make any redundancies.

"We have to issue these protective redundancy notices under employment law but we are hopeful some jobs will go through natural wastage and other staff can be redeployed.

"We imposed a vacancy management programme last year which froze recruitment for all non-frontline jobs to prepare the county council for cuts and to try to protect against redundancies.

"That remains our policy but these are specific cuts made necessary because of the Government's in-year reduction of funding which would be impossible for us to achieve without reducing posts. There may even be a knock-on effect on other jobs later in the year.

"We know spending cuts have to be made and times are going to be hard.

"This country can no longer go on spending four pounds for every three pounds it earns.

"But the public sector is a very important employer in Exeter and Devon and we will continue, where possible, to seek other ways of saving money as an alternative to redundancies."

The plans go before the county council's Cabinet next Wednesday.