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Up to 600 jobs could be axed at South Tyneside Council

South Tyneside Council has warned that up to 600 jobs could be lost as part of its plans to make further savings of at least £55m. 

Since 2010 the local authority has saved over £120m and more than 1,000 staff have taken voluntary redundancy, but due to the anticipated reductions in the government grant further job losses are expected. 

The Labour-led council said it has started formal negotiations with trade unions, but the actual number of jobs that could be affected will not be known until later in the budgeting process. 

However, local trade unionists claim that authorities are not doing enough to stand up against austerity. 

Unison regional organiser Karen Loughlin said: “Our worry is that nothing is sacred anymore and that some things that the council has always delivered, and which you’d think they should always deliver, they will have to decide they no longer can. 

“Is the aim of the government nationally to not want local government to provide services?” she added. As at some stage councils will just not be able to. 

“We are one of the most deprived regions in the country, but Labour councils seem to be delivering cuts without challenge.” 

Cllr Ed Malcolm, lead member for Resources and Innovation at South Tyneside Council, said: “I am forced to accept the submission of a HR1 indicating a loss of up to 600 council jobs by 2020. I say forced as this is not something that South Tyneside Council wishes to take forward, but rather something that has been thrust upon us by this Conservative government.” 

The HR1 covers the period October 2015 to the end of March 2020 and the figure of 600 jobs reflects the maximum number of potential job losses anticipated over the coming four-year period.

“The future looks bleak. While the HR1 form is a legal requirement and a formal process we must undertake, it is not something that myself or colleagues relish – far from it,” said Cllr Malcolm. “Put bluntly – in 2020 South Tyneside Council as we know it will change dramatically. This undoubtedly will have an effect on our residents and the services which they receive.”


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