Cuts threaten 2,000 Manchester council jobs

One of the country's biggest local authorities warned today of 2,000 redundancies, sparking threats of industrial action and taking the council jobs cull caused by the Government's spending cuts to almost 114,000.

Manchester City Council revealed it was having £110 million slashed off its budget of £500 million to £600 million this year, with tens of millions more next year, saying it will have to axe almost a fifth of its workforce.



Sir Richard Leese, leader of the Labour-controlled authority, complained about the "unfairness" of the Government's financial grant settlement for Manchester, while unions reacted with fury.



The GMB said a total of 113,765 jobs were now under threat at 145 councils across Britain, with almost all of the authorities involved in a 90-day statutory consultation period with unions and staff on how to deal with the cuts.



Unite raised the threat of industrial action to fight the huge number of planned redundancies in Manchester.



Regional officer Keith Hutson said: "Our members are outraged. This is the clear result of the coalition's austerity measures and cutbacks to local government funding announced before Christmas. It will have a devastating effect on services and the people that use them."



Sir Richard said: "We now have to find £110 million in savings next year - £60 million more than expected - because of front-loading and the re-distribution of money from Manchester to more affluent areas.



"The accelerated cuts mean we can no longer achieve the staffing reductions we have been forced into through natural turnover, which is why we are proposing a time-limited offer of voluntary severance and voluntary early retirement."



The Local Government Association, which has already warned that spending cuts will cost 140,000 jobs, said councils were being left with "no choice" but to axe posts.



Chairman Baroness Margaret Eaton said local government would have to make cuts this year of around £2 billion more than expected, adding: "The level of spending reduction that councils are going to have to make goes way beyond anything that conventional efficiency drives, such as shared services, can achieve.



"Some jobs will go in natural wastage, not filling vacancies and voluntary redundancy; however, we cannot escape the fact that some losses will be frontline posts that, given a choice, councils would not want to see go. These are the tough choices we are going to have to make."



Unison leader Dave Prentis, said: "The shockwaves of 2,000 job losses will spread across the city of Manchester and beyond. It is a tragic loss to workers who will have to break the news to their families that they are losing their jobs. It is also a bitter blow to communities who will lose services they rely on and will hit local businesses and trade.



"The Government's cuts have been targeted at some of the most deprived areas in the country and Manchester is clearly in the firing line."



Shadow local government secretary Caroline Flint said: "The breakneck speed and size of the Tory-led Government's reckless front-loaded cuts to councils will hit local jobs, economic growth and the vital frontline services people rely on."



Local Government Minister Grant Shapps said: "Labour hypocrisy on this issue is breathtaking. They admit there need to be cuts but can't say where they would fall. Ed Miliband needs to go back to his blank piece of paper and come back with a plan.



"We have been quite clear that if councils cut chief executive pay, join back office services, join forces to procure and cut out the crazy non-jobs, they can protect frontline services.



"Yet Manchester has a chief executive on a pay packet of nearly £100,000 more than the Prime Minister, who won't lead from the front and take a pay cut, and a Twitter tsar on nearly £40,000.



"It's equally disappointing that the council has so far failed to put all expenditure over £500 online so it can be exposed to full public scrutiny."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an I...

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen