Humberside

North Lincolnshire Council agrees to shed 550 posts

North Lincolnshire Council is to cut 550 posts from its 7,000-strong workforce over the next four years.

The cuts were approved by the Labour-controlled authority as it tries to make £15m of savings next year because of a cut in government funding.

Council leader Mark Kirk said: "Unfortunately when you have £15m in cuts, it will have an impact on jobs."

The council will also cut its senior management team from 12 posts to seven, generating savings of £380,000 a year.

The budget-setting meeting on Wednesday night also agreed to freeze council tax next year.

'No pleasure'

The £15m cut in the 2011-12 budget represents a 10% reduction from an original £149m.

The job cuts come on top of 200 posts which have been lost over the past year, bringing the total reduction in the workforce to 750, or about 10%.

The cost-cutting measures agreed also include relocating Brigg's tourist information centre to Scunthorpe library.

Mr Kirk said: "I take no pleasure in delivering this budget, but our hands have been tied.

"I am genuinely hopeful that as many employees as possible will be redeployed or retrained into other positions and redundancies will be kept to an absolute minimum."

Deeper cuts

Conservative group leader Liz Redfern said: "We are determined to step up to the mark in response to the debt inherited from the last Labour government."

She said the authority should have gone further by making deeper cuts to senior management and looking at other ways of increasing efficiency across the council.

She also criticised the Labour leadership for failing to invest in projects such as rural broadband provision to boost local businesses.

A spokesman for the Unite trade union said: "We are working closely with the leadership of the council to ensure that any redundancies are kept to a minimum and that the frontline services... are protected.

"We will support the council's initiatives to redeploy as many affected staff as possible."

Meanwhile, Hull City Council meets later to agree proposals for £40m of savings next year, which include cutting more than 1,300 jobs and the closure of three residential homes.

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