SIX hundred jobs have been saved at the council thanks to its enterprise strategy which has generated around £30 million this year, the leader says.

Town Hall chiefs reaffirmed fears over the financial situation facing the borough during a meeting on Monday.

Deputy leader Cllr Cathy Mitchell reminded the cabinet that the Labour-run authority has made more than £137 million worth of cuts and savings since 2010.

Cllr Matt Smith, cabinet member for children’s services, labelled the situation as a ‘double whammy’ after pointing to budgets being slashed while demand on services increases.

Furthermore, Cllr Hans Mundry, portfolio holder for transportation and highways, told colleagues the authority’s invest to save strategy is ‘fetching in millions’ and enabling staff to keep their jobs while delivering for the most vulnerable residents.

Leader Cllr Russ Bowden was also keen to put forward his concerns on the issue.

He says local government finance is ‘broken’ and labelled having to plan next year’s budget with ‘no idea’ of what the financial landscape will be as a ‘ridiculous situation’.

“If we didn’t have around £30 million of additional income this year, you equate that to frontline service cuts which is inevitably jobs,” he added.

“That is the equivalent of 600 plus jobs at this authority, the majority of those deliver frontline services to residents which is absolutely crucial.”

Great Sankey Neighbourhood Hub featured in Cllr Mitchell’s capital programme 2018-19 report.

In July 2017, the project was priced at £19 million, with the council to pay around £14.7 million.

Following the latest estimate, the project cost has been priced at £20.8 million, with the authority to contribute £16.5 million.

In her report, Cllr Mitchell said the delay in the completion of the pool at the site has ‘triggered the damages provisions’ within the contract, which are being applied in full and will have a ‘significant effect’ on the overall outturn costs.

She added the extent to which the contractor disputes the damages provisions, or makes additional claims, will also affect the outturn, while stating there is still a risk the contract will enter formal dispute resolution, with any award against the council having the potential to increase the outturn costs.