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12.11.15

Nearly 12,000 council jobs already threatened by 2016-17 budget cuts

An initial analysis of the budget plans of 29 councils shows that 17 of them are floating to plans to cut nearly 12,000 posts, analysis from the GMB union has found, saying that these are just the “tip of the iceberg”.

Glasgow City Council topped the 2016-17 cuts list, with 3,000 posts intended to go over the next two years.

Edinburgh City Council followed closely with 2,000 jobs at risk. According to the union, the council wants these workers to take enhanced voluntary redundancy packages and leave by next June.

Closely following it is Cumbria Council, which has drafted £80m in cuts and 1,800 slashed jobs in the next three years. This would cumulatively represent a total of 4,800 roles lost from 2012 to 2019.

And Worcestershire County Council, for example, has already defined that job cuts will include 100 adult social care workers.

Justin Bowden, GMB national officer for local council workers, said: “These 11,766 job cuts are just the tip of the iceberg of the cuts yet to be revealed as councils fix budgets for 2016-17.

“They are in advance of the announcement that four government departments have agreed to cut their spending by an average of another 30% over the next four years. The full extent of the cuts will be revealed in the Spending Review on 25 November.

“Spending in some parts of the public sector like local councils will be half that in 2010. These same councils have to cope with increased pressures from the care sector and other upward cost pressures.

“The last round of local government job losses was described as cutting council services to the bone. The further 30% cut will mean amputations as councils and other public services are forced to decide which services they stop providing altogether.”

After the 30% cuts were announced, the LGA said that while they only applied to DCLG savings and not local government funding, a similar size reduction to core council funding would leave them facing a £16.5bn black hole by the end of the decade.

Early signs of this can already be seen in GMB’s research, which found that some local authorities, such Birmingham, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk councils, are planning cuts upwards of £100m for 2016-17.

PSE has asked the LGA for comment but has not yet heard back.

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