Knowsley Council 'forced' to cut 400 jobs

About 400 jobs will be lost at Knowsley Council as it tries to reduce a shortfall of £30m.

Trade union Unison was told on Tuesday as many jobs as possible would be lost through voluntary redundancy.

The council's cabinet meets later to discuss proposals which include cutting jobs by the end of March.

Council leader Councillor Ron Round said the Spending Review made the cuts inevitable.

"Our trade union colleagues recognise that we have been forced into this situation," he said.

'Hit hard'

Mr Round added: "We always knew that councils like Knowsley would be hit hard because this government is taking resources away from those who need it most.

"This is a clear indicator of how tough it is going to be for us."

The amount being allocated to councils has been reduced by 27% from £28.5bn in 2010/11 to £22.9bn in 2014/15.

Deputy branch secretary of Unison in Knowsley Jeff Bowe predicted that this could be the start of a round of job cuts for years to come.

"The council haven't given a figure on that but I am afraid that is the logical outcome for 2012/13 where the council has to make £16m to £20m worth of cuts," he said.

Further cuts

Elsewhere in the borough housing association Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT) announced on Tuesday that it is to shed 100 jobs as part of a series of cost cutting measures to save more than £9m.

The trust, which has 13,000 homes is one of the largest housing associations in the UK.

But with the government's Spending Review cutting 60% off the social housing budget, KHT's board is looking at a major restructuring of the organisation and a review of its services.

Chief executive Bob Taylor said he regretted the action which he said was unavoidable.

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