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'Ministers should try job swap' says councillor amid cut fears
GOVERNMENT big wigs who are cutting council funding should do a job swap with councillors to see how they cope, a senior Tory has suggested.
Conservatives at Wycombe District Council have blasted their national party colleagues at Westminster over the level of cuts.
Cllr Audrey Jones, a cabinet member, expressed deep fears about how the council will cope as Leader Cllr Alex Collingwood, from Marlow, said things are only going to get worse.
Already, councils have faced about 20 per cent cuts as the Government aims to slash the national deficit.
Senior management has been slashed by 66 per cent and overall staffing by nearly half in recent years at WDC, Chief Executive Karen Satterford said.
Cllr Jones said at a June 19 meeting: "I think we are at the bone in terms of staffing now and I can't see how we are going to survive if we have to make deeper cuts.
"How will we manage after that? I would like to tell central Government that it's not on."
She suggested Ministers come to Wycombe and swap roles to see how they cope.
"I think we should have an exchange with number ten (Downing Street), we go there and they come to us," she said.
Cllr Ron Gaffney, chairman of the scrutiny committee, said: "I agree with Cllr Jones, I don't know where it's going to stop. I'm not looking forward to the task and finish group where we have to conjure up some more savings."
Cllr Collingwood said the council has been prudent to keep saving for a rainy day because he expects a 'deluge' in coming years.
"I think this is just the beginning, there's more to come," he said.
He revealed the council has been lobbying behind the scenes via the MPs to make the Coalition aware of the situation.
"The reality is local government can't take any more on than they already are," he said.
"We are going to be very robust with our friends in central Government."
The Department for Local Government were unavailable for comment.
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