CUTS to budgets next year mean council staff will be asked to “deliver more with fewer resources for less reward”, according to a trade union.

The revenue budget for West Berkshire Council for the next financial year, which begins in April, includes £3.24 million of savings and income generation proposals.

The local government branch of Unison West Berkshire has welcomed the “bare minimum” of redundancies planned year, but said the “true impact on staff has been concealed.

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A spokesman for the branch, in a response to the budget consultation, said: “The hard-edged truth of the matter is that all staff will be asked to again deliver more with fewer resources, and for less reward at greater risk to their personal wellbeing and prosperity.

“It is clearly untrue to say, for instance, that training budgets savings of £22,000 will have ‘no implications’ or that directorate efficiency reviews savings of £56,000 will have ‘no implications’.

“These will, of course, have implications on staff, recruitment and retention. To claim otherwise is disingenuous.”

READ MORE: Council tax will rise 3.99 per cent in West Berkshire

The trade union’s response was included in the reports to the public meeting of the council executive, on February 13. Councillors will then vote whether to approve the proposals at a meeting of the full council on March 3.

Elsewhere, residents will likely see their council tax bills increase from April by 3.99 per cent — the maximum amount allowed without a local referendum. This includes an 1.99 per cent in council tax and a two per cent increase the adult social care precept.

The Unison spokesman said: “It is heartening firstly, that the authority has recognised this abject folly of the self-harming efforts of past administrations in resisting this increase, in the hope of some kind of congratulatory indulgence from central government.

“This damaging approach has led to the council already being worse off than its peers, thanks to the comparatively lower base it has forced itself to operate from.”

Councillor Ross Mackinnon (Con, Bradfield), lead for finance, previously said there will be “no cuts to frontline services”. 

He said: “We will be investing heavily in the district wherever it is most needed. For example, in schools, care homes and tackling homelessness. 

“This budget will not only maintain essential services, but is a massive step forward in ensuring that West Berkshire will continue to be a great place to live, work, visit and learn.”