More jobs axed at town hall

Blackpool Town Hall

Blackpool Town Hall

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UP to 100 council jobs could be lost within weeks as part of fresh town hall cuts.

Departments at Blackpool Council have been ordered to make efficiency savings of between £7m and £8m by the end of March.

Between 30 and 40 compulsory redundancies will be made in childrens, adults and young peoples services with children’s centres and services which help youngsters find work today facing an uncertain future.

The latest cuts are on top of the £27m worth of savings which need to be made by the council in the next financial year, and which will see the loss of around 800 council jobs.

Unions today said they were stunned by the news which caught them completely by surprise. The childrens, adults and young people’s directorate still has to find £2m of savings to reduce an overspend of £4.5m before the end of March.

David Lund, its executive director, said; “We are having to look at the services we deliver very closely in order to reduce costs. But at the same time not to put our most vulnerable children, young people and adults at risk.

“Unfortunately in the first instance we are having to look at more universal services that provide support to a broader population.

“Over the next couple of weeks, we shall be meeting with some of the staff affected in order to explain the position and to consult on the best way forward. At this point I’m looking within my department at between 30 and 40 compulsory job losses within this year’s budget.”

Top auditors KPMG were brought in to help depertment make savings in the face of a massive overspend.

Mike Booth, regional organiser for public services union Unite, said he now feared up to 100 jobs could go in total.

He said: “Unite were completely unaware of these in-year budget issues and we are astounded to be told the council knew about this in July last year.

“We have missed out on almost six months where we could have been working to try and mitigate these losses.

“Now the union will be served a 30-day consultation notice and this will be rushed through by the end of March.”

FOR MORE ON THIS STORY SEE THURSDAY’S GAZETTE.