Job woes continue as thousands face axe

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The Independent Online

Thousands of jobs were axed or threatened today as cuts in council posts continued and the number of losses at Lloyds Banking Group topped 22,000 since it was part-nationalised.

Union leaders warned of up to 6,000 job losses at Derbyshire County Council, Leeds City Council and Stoke on Trent City Council because of Government spending cuts.

The GMB said the latest cuts were on top of thousands of threatened job losses at local authorities across the country as they deal with reductions in their budgets.

The union said it had been told that Derbyshire County Council was planning up to 2,000 redundancies over the next four years, Leeds City Council was aiming to cut 1,000 jobs and between 2,500 and 3,000 posts were under threat at Stoke on Trent.

The Government has announced a cut in Derbyshire council's grant of around 28%, which means the authority will have to cut its spending by £84 million over the next four years, on top of the £10 million it had already planned, according to the GMB.

GMB organiser Pat Hardy said: "These cuts are savage and will have a devastating impact on services and on many GMB members in Derbyshire who will lose their jobs."

Banking giant Lloyds is to axe another 400 jobs, taking the total number of posts lost to 22,000 since it was part-nationalised in September 2008.

The Unite union, which represents staff at Lloyds, said it was "appalled" at the latest job losses, which had "devastated" staff.

National officer Cath Speight said: "Unite is appalled that Lloyds Banking Group has now cut close to the capacity of the stadium of a Premier League football club. Craven Cottage could hold the 22,000 people from this state-supported bank who been left devastated by the weekly flow of job loss announcements."

Unite called on new chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio to make a firm commitment that his first priority will be job security when he joins the company in early 2011.

"Today over 400 people face the reality of a future without employment as Lloyds Banking Group continues to throw increasing numbers of staff onto the scrap heap of the jobless."

David Oldfield, Chief Operating Officer, Wholesale, at Lloyds Banking Group, said: "Today's announcement to cease writing new business in the Group's Black Horse Personal Finance operation follows a strategic review of the business.

"There will be no effect on Black Horse Motor Finance or existing Black Horse Personal and Retail Finance customers. We will work closely with the impacted employees to help them through these changes."