Council set to slash workforce by 96%

Leader of Northants County Council, Jim Harker
Leader of Northants County Council, Jim Harker

The most dramatic change to public services for 125 years will see the council’s core workforce cut from 4,000 to 150 – in a bid to carve £148 million from its budget.

Northants County Council’s government funding will be reduced by £81m in the next five years but the cost of providing services is set to rise by £99m in that time.

On Tuesday, the authority announced the Council Plan to outsource the majority of its services, such as social care and children’s services – to privately operated social enterprises.

Organisations would be free to win contracts and generate additional income for the council.

The council’s core workforce would be reduced from 4,000 150 people as part of the authority’s ‘next generation’ model.

Leader of the council, Jim Harker, said the traditional model is ‘unsustainable’.

He said: “The method of paying for local services through government grant no longer stacks up and in Northants our demand is far outstripping our income as we continue to play our part in tackling the national deficit.”

Chief executive Paul Blantern said there would be minimal redundancies, with most employees transferred to new contractors with current structures largely retained.

The 150-strong staff would include those in business intelligence and market development teams.

The new service model would create four new separate ‘mutual’ organisations over the next five years, which includes a mutual focusing on child protection, an accountable care organisation, a ‘wellbeing community organisation’ and a ‘place shaping company’.