Rotherham Council budget passed

A Dearne customer service centre will close and around 60 jobs will be axed after Rotherham Council’s budget was rubber stamped.

Councillors passed the draft budget proposal at the full council meeting last Thursday, which will see the authority save more than £20 million in the coming year.

As part of the savings package, Swinton Customer Service Centre will close and its services are to be transferred over to the library next door on reduced hours.

Across the council, there will be a reduction of about 60 full-time posts.

Roger Stone, leader of Rotherham Council, told the meeting that the authority had faced “unprecedented cuts in central Government funding” and has needed to save more than £50 million since the last general election.

He continued: “These are tough times for us as a council, tough times for our staff, and tough times for the individuals and the families we serve.”

The overall budget for 2013/14 has been reduced by £20.2m to £221.474m.

Despite the cuts, council tax will remain frozen for the third year running.

But Mr Stone warned the council is facing “difficult challenges” with five more years of cuts expected.

He said: “We expect these year-on-year reductions to continue until at least 2018.

“In 2014/15 we already know that the Government is planning to reduce our funding by a further 9.1 per cent.”