London

London councils cut 5,000 posts since Spending Review

More than 5,000 posts have been cut by London's councils in response to the government's Spending Review in 2010, the BBC has learned.

Figures from the 32 boroughs show 5,328 posts have already gone due to the budget cuts last October, instead of being cut over a three-year period.

Haringey has lost 484 posts since April this year, the highest figure so far, while Harrow slashed 43 jobs this year.

Unison said there were not enough jobs for workers who were made redundant.

Vicky Easton, Unison's regional manager, said: "People who are doing some of the frontline jobs, they're very specialist jobs, at dealing with people.

"And there just aren't the other jobs out there.

"It's a terrible time for people. It really is distressing for an awful lot of our members at the moment."

Councils across the capital cut millions of pounds from their budgets after the government announced it would reduce the amount of funding provided to boroughs across the country.

Hundreds of people gathered outside town halls to protests as the 32 boroughs approved the cuts in February and March this year.

According to the figures provided to BBC London, some councils began cutting jobs in anticipation of the Spending Review announcement, while others axed jobs following the review in 2010.

Others had begun making workers redundant since April 2011.

Haringey lost 484 jobs between April and September, out of the projected cuts of more than 1,000 jobs over a four-year period.

A spokesman for the council said: "Unprecedented government cuts mean we are being forced to reduce our budget by £84m over four years and by £41m, almost half, this year alone.

"We've tried where we can to limit the impact of job losses to the back office but the sheer scale and speed of the government cuts has inevitably impacted on other areas."

The council said most of the jobs were lost in policy, performance, communications and urban environment departments.

A spokeswoman for London Councils, which represents the boroughs, said: "Nobody wants to see job losses.

"Local authorities, however, are facing funding reductions of 26% over the next four years, so they have to scale back."

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