THE friendly face of council services is set to be lost as full extent £68 million worth of cuts were revealed for the first time yesterday.

Union leaders warned much-cherished public services and face-to-face interaction would be swept away by swingeing cuts as the council proposes to slash up to 30 per cent from department budgets.

Five hundred and forty jobs are set to go by 2020 with more than double that number set to transfer from the council to trusts, community and voluntary organisations and private companies.

Council leader Warren Morgan said there were no efficiency savings left to be make and the impact on council services was inevitable in light of Government cuts.

Newly-released council papers reveal the first £20 million of proposed savings for the 2016/17 budget, with union leaders warning the final £5 million could be the toughest and cruellest cuts still to be made.

The proposals will be discussed at the council's policy and resources committee next Thursday which will be preceded by a union-led protest.

An additional £40 million of savings up to 2020 were identified as part of a newly-introduced four-year budget process requiring £68 million in savings.

Among the cuts outlined, the council is looking to save £2.6 million reforming learning disabilities services.

The proposed closure of Tower House day centre will save the council £230,000, changes to special educational needs support £500,000 and reform of youth services £400,000.

The council’s waste management service Cityclean will be asked to find £450,000 of savings in staff costs with union bosses warning job losses would harm the Labour administration’s manifesto pledges to improve recycling rates and keep the city’s streets clean.

Councillor Morgan said the authority would continue with spending controls and a recruitment freeze which have helped to bring down an £8.5 million overspend to £1 million in a matter of months in this year's budget.

He added: "Everybody will look at the cuts and say this is wrong and you should be making the cuts elsewhere.

"Well cuts are being made elsewhere but the budget for management costs and councillors is absolutely tiny in relation to social care cuts.

"I know its very easy for people out there to say there must be other savings you can make instead.

"Those savings have been made, they have been made over the last four to five years, made in the last six months and they will be made in the coming year but the scope for savings has run out."

GMB branch secretary Mark Turner said: "The forward facing part of the council as far as the public are concerned will drastically change.

“It asks questions about what kind of council will remain in 2020, just one large administrative building carrying its legal requirements?

"Some of these things that the public will feel should be provided, they are seen as luxuries rather than a statutory requirement."

UNISON branch officer Sue Beatty said: "The general public don't realise what impact cuts to public service really mean unless they actually use the service.

"Closing day centres and replacing them with personal budgets will break up friendship groups and increase isolation.

"People don't want personal budgets, they want council-run services."


The Argus:

Proposals are to create a new Pavilion trust, which would also have responsibility for the management of Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Hove Museum and Art Gallery, Preston Manor, the Booth Museum, the Old Courthouse in Church Street and the Pavilion shop. 

It is proposed that the new trust would come into force in 2017 and would eventually join with the trust responsible for the Brighton Dome venues by 2020. 

The move is set to save £230,000 by 2020. The Argus reported fears the trust would have to find £1.7 million to plug a funding gap as a result of the move and council officers have warned the transition would require funding from the council over a number of years.


The council’s waste management team, Cityclean, will have to make management and job cuts savings of £450,000, while additional profits will be sought from new commercial enterprises, including trade waste removal.

Job cuts to street cleaning teams of up to eight posts a year through natural wastage will be reliant on investment in more technology such as litter crushing bins and mechanical street sweepers.

The team will also have less money to spend on litter bins and weed spraying.

Savings are reliant on the success of recently introduced commercial services, such as fining for littering.


The council has announced plans to close public toilets, saving up to £200,000 by 2020.

A review of public toilets will look into closing some facilities or begin charging for others.

To make the £200,000 savings, around a quarter of the public toilet budget, it is estimated that it will require the closing of up to three toilet blocks.

The services are not statutory, but concerns have been raised about the impact on Brighton and Hove as an attractive place for visitors.

The location of which public toilets could be under threat has yet to be agreed.


The Argus:

Proposals are to close five children’s centres to save £176,000 a year plus the £690,000 one-off payment agreed last budget to keep the centres open for an additional 12 months.

The Deans centre at Rudyard Kipling primary school would merge with Roundabout, West Hove centre at West Hove infant school with Conway Court, Hollingbury and Patcham centre at Carden primary school with Hollingdean and City View centre would merge with either Tarner or Moulsecoomb centres.

In the last budget, four children’s centres were at risk of closure, but were given a last-minute reprieve.


The colourful Playbus service is proposed to end with a saving of £100,000, although alternative funding is being sought.

Three council-run nurseries are set to be outsourced to the private or voluntary sector following a review to save £362,00 by 2020.

Another consultation will consider reducing the number of special schools from six to three.  A layer of management will be removed from the children’s social work team under a new model to save nearly £1 million over next four years.

Having 50 fewer children in care is also estimated to save the council £1.55 million.


Proposals are for the end of the meet-and-greet staff service at council main offices at Bartholomew House in Brighton and Hove Town Hall.

In its place would be a concierge model, which would combine the roles of customer service advisors and security officers, starting from 2016/17.

The council hopes there will be a reduction in the number of people using these two main centres and increase in use of newly-developed community hubs currently being planned initially for four area of the city.

One of the two main contact service centres set to close to save £408,000 by 2020 puts 15 jobs at risk.


The council’s current team of nine city park rangers, responsible for monitoring parks and taking part in conservation, is set to be reduced from nine to three.

The move is designed to save the council £175,000 from the £400,000 conservation budget, with hoped-for volunteers to fill the gap in the workforce.

Brighton and Hove City Council have already apologised to rangers after they were informed their jobs were at risk by text.

Their treatment has sparked official complaints from trade unions, who are calling for a full investigation into the incident.


The Argus:

Closure of Tower House day service would save £230,000.

A consultation is under way on proposals to close the last remaining day centre of its kind in the city.

Tower House in London Road is currently used by up to 92 residents with physical and mental health needs, but costs the council £300,000 a year to run.

The council deems the current service high-cost and not in keeping with authority ethos on personalised and community care.

A proposal that the centre be hired out to other organisations at evenings and weekends in a bid to keep it open was recently added as an option to the public consultation.


Learning disabilities services need to achieve savings of £2.6 million from what the council considers a “high-price” service currently when compared against other local authorities.

Belgrave learning disabilities day centre in Portslade is set to close and merge with Wellington House in Brighton.

The review is also exploring reducing the current number of seven residential learning disabilities houses, which are homes to up to eight residents.

Fundamental switch away from council-run services to private budgeting where residents given own money to decide on how to spend on care and support.


Significant reductions in Westdene and Hollingbury libraries as a proposal to merge them into a classroom and children’s centre respectively is designed to save £309,000.

A proposal to move Hove Library into a newly-built expansion of Hove Museum in 2017/18 will save £330,000.

Expanding of the Libraries Extra scheme, which allows facilities to remain open for later but without staff, is hoped to save £375,000 by April 2017.  External consultants will be employed by the council to look into savings in the Jubilee Library PFI contract, which currently costs £2.4 million a year in council and Government funding.