Council IT concerns raised as government forces through immediate cuts

Council back office staff yesterday received the news that the largest budget cuts among local authorities will be forced through this year.

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Council back office staff yesterday received the news that the largest budget cuts among local authorities will be forced through this year.

Local councils had pushed for the cuts to be spread more evenly across four years, in order to lessen the immediate effects.

But yesterday Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, effectively rejected those appeals by publishing a tough 2011-12 budget, the Guardian reported.

Under the new plans, councils will have to act quickly and make their largest savings in the next 12 months.

In a number of regions, back office staff, including IT and processing functions, have already witnessed extensive cuts. Among the latest, Surrey County council is considering shedding over 600 jobs.

The GMB trade union told the Guardian that the latest proposed cuts among councils could take the total number of threatened roles across the country to 150,000.

While investment in some technology may continue to falter, there are plans by a number of councils to share systems and to look to updated IT systems to generate savings.

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