WYRE Forest District Council will reduce its staff numbers to help plug a £2million funding gap.

Plans to cut three senior members of staff to save £200,000 a year were passed at Wednesday night's full council meeting, with redundancies expected to take place before the end of the financial year.

Councillors voted in support of plans to remove the post of corporate director for community wellbeing and environment and approved the one off termination costs from that position and the post of cultural services and marketing manager.

Between them, the staff members have more than 60 years' service with Wyre Forest Council, which leader Councillor Graham Ballinger said made it a "tough decision to make".

The district council said the proposals were no reflection of the workers' performance, but said it could not maintain its current management structure while it faced a funding gap of more than £2million.

It said there had been a significant reduction in the department's responsibilities due to services being transferred to town councils under its localism initiative.

Speaking at Wednesday's meeting, Cllr Ballinger said: "At the end of the day, something has to be done about this. This is about taking a responsible attitude."

But Cllr Marcus Hart said the restructure "does not go far enough" and put forward an amendment for all the directorates to undergo a management restructure in order to save £300,000 a year.

He said: "If we really want to protect front line services a restructure in isolation as only one directorate doesn't go far enough.

"It would be fairer to all of our officers that hold senior management posts for the directorates to be dealt with as a whole."

Kidderminster Shuttle:

However Cllr Ballinger said the delay would only cause further uncertainty for the staff affected, and the amendment was rejected.

The council said all services are being reviewed and that other changes may be proposed to the management structure in due course.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Ballinger said: “Any organisation will review its structures and management costs from time to time.

"It is important that the Council does so, particularly when we’re facing a £2m spending gap.

"We are exploring many avenues on how to generate income and reduce costs to bridge this gap and will need to keep our staffing structures under review to reflect current and future demands on the business.

“The proposals involve three redundancies and would produce annual savings of £200k a year when fully implemented.

"The changes will take effect by the end of this financial year.”