Council to cut hundreds of jobs

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The Independent Online

One of the UK's biggest local authorities said today it was cutting hundreds of jobs blaming "lower government grants and a drop in its income".

Leeds City Council said about 650 would go over the next year but said it was planning to create 200 new posts, giving a net loss of about 450.

A spokesman said the council did not anticipate there would be any compulsory job losses and none of the posts affected would be school-based staff.



Leeds City Council joint leader Councillor Richard Brett, who is also executive board member with responsibility for resources, said: "We are having to make some incredibly difficult decisions and the sad fact of the matter is that we are having to face up to the prospect of reducing our staff numbers.

"It is regrettable that we've had to consider our options around the size of our workforce, but the council is in an almost impossible position.

"We have done everything we can to protect our front-line services and to minimise the impact of the losses on existing staff."

The spokesman said in statement the proposed reduction equates to a small proportion of the council's 33,000 workforce.

He said the jobs are to go "as the authority tries to find ways of coping with lower government grants and a drop in its income".

The statement said: "Front-line services, such as care of vulnerable adults and children and refuse collection, will not be affected.

"The plan is to improve work attendance and to review structures with a view to making efficiencies and reducing unnecessary administrative and management roles.

"Reducing the number of people on the council payroll is one of the measures officers have been forced to consider as they work to prepare next year's budget.

"The council is proposing a 2.9 per cent increase in the council tax. It has been a particularly difficult year due to lower government grants and the impact of the economic downturn."

"Revenue from leisure centres and charges for planning applications have dropped significantly in recent months as the economy began to decline.

"The current climate is also seriously affecting the council's ability to generate money from the sale of surplus land and buildings which in the past has allowed it to invest heavily in services."

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