Union warns over council job cuts


GMB officials are studying plans for job cuts at Surrey County Council

Union leaders are studying proposals for huge job cuts at a Conservative-controlled council which takes the total number of threatened redundancies across the country to nearer 150,000.

Surrey County Council will discuss spending cuts on Tuesday, with estimates that 650 posts are under threat because of Government funding cuts.

But the GMB union said earlier estimates put the figure at 1,000, which it warned would hit council services.

GMB officer Paul Maloney said on Monday: “GMB officials are assessing a new paper on the cuts going to Surrey County Council cabinet meeting tomorrow which seems to estimate that 650 posts will go over the next four years.

“GMB officials are comparing this with the earlier estimate of 1,000 posts to go over the coming period. In particular they are assessing whether this latest estimate included the large number of vacancies not filled during 2010.

“Looking at the detail in the paper it is clear that these job cuts will have an adverse impact on frontline services for the most vulnerable in the county.”

The GMB said last week that councils across the country had announced or threatened more than 145,000, so Monday’s news takes that figure closer to 150,000.

Chris Leary, of Unison, said: “When the public realise what this means in reality, when their parents and grandparents lose the services they rely on, such as mobile libraries, when vulnerable adults cannot get support because there are not enough qualified staff, when young people turn to crime and delinquency because their youth services have gone, the people of Surrey will not just stand idly by and let the politicians decimate services.

“We will defend our members’ jobs and support them in whatever action they choose to take, including lawful industrial action.”

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