74,000 jobs face axe, warn unions


The number of council jobs cut or threatened with the axe is now almost 74,000, the GMB said

The number of council jobs cut or threatened with the axe in recent weeks is now almost 74,000, with unions fearing that services will now be “slashed” in the New Year, officials have said.

The GMB union said 79 local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland had now issued warnings of job losses as a result of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review in October.

Union officials were now involved in the statutory 90-day consultations over job cuts in councils across the country, said the GMB.

The latest threats of job cuts had come on Monday in North Devon and Nottingham following announcements last week in Trafford, Preston, Wirral, Cheshire, Cambridgeshire and Gloucestershire, according to the union.

GMB national officer Brian Strutton said: “Today’s announcement of the grant settlement for local authorities means that the job loss predictions will now become a reality with many more to come. The scale of cuts will be a devastating blow to council workers as local services are to be slashed.

“Local government seems to have been sacrificed on the altar of spending cuts and the whole range of council services will be dramatically slashed.

“From what we’ve seen, support for the needy and vulnerable will be particularly hard hit including carers for the elderly and children’s social workers. So will street cleaning and refuse collection.”

The GMB said councils across England were planning to hold meetings this week to assess spending in the coming year after receiving news from the Government about the level of grant support.

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