Kent to shed 260 frontline children and families jobs

Kent County Council (KCC) is set to shed 260 frontline jobs in a bid to save £8m, it has emerged.

The jobs will be reduced in the council’s children, families and education department: 100 of the posts set to be axed are already vacant and will not now be filled.

The news comes as several councils have been forced to cut jobs in wake of the recession, including Leeds City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council, each set to axe about 300 jobs.

KCC vowed the cuts would not effect frontline social care services, and pledged to increase its children’s social services budget by £5.3m to meet a rise in demand – referrals have increased by a fifth following the Baby Peter case, website Children & Young People Now has reported.

The council’s lead member for children, Sarah Hohler, said: “We are living in challenging economic times and it is essential we make economies and do things differently to make every penny count.

“Along with every local authority in England, we need to work more effectively with the available resources.”

The redundancies are set to take effect in September, when the council implements a reorganisation of a department which is responsible for providing specialist support and advisory services to schools, as well as safeguarding vulnerable young children, according to Kent Online.

A 90-day consultation process has now begun.

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