Wirral Council set to axe about 500 posts

Wallasey Town Hall Image copyright Other
Image caption Wirral Council said about 1,100 jobs were axed in 2011

Wirral Council has announced about 500 posts will be axed as part of plans to save £57m due to funding cuts.

The council said jobs would be lost because spending needed to be reduced by 20% across the organisation.

Job losses will equate to savings of £9.4m, with the positions lost through voluntary and compulsory redundancies.

In 2011, about 1,100 jobs were axed. The council's chief executive said it was "regrettable" that further cuts would be made.

Graham Burgess said: "Based on budget decisions which have already been taken, it is regrettable that we are faced with having to reduce our workforce by around 500 over the coming months.

'Devastating impact'

"Given the swingeing reductions in our grant funding that we... are facing over the next couple of years, even more staff reductions seem inevitable."

The council, which currently employs about 4,300 people, said unions had been notified about its proposals.

"We have savings of £57m to deliver between 2014-2017, which are already agreed," said Mr Burgess.

"Part of this is the £9.4m that we have agreed to save through redesigning the council and its staffing structures and being more efficient."

Tony Caffery, regional organiser for the union Unison, said: "Central government funding cuts are having a devastating impact on jobs and services.

"We will be pressing the council to consider all available options in order to avoid compulsory redundancies and will work with the council to minimise the negative impact of the cuts on service users."

Communities minister Brandon Lewis said: "Wirral's total spending power is above the national average and it receives more than £2,000 per household.

"There is still much more councils can do to cut waste and making sensible savings such as using reserves, tackling fraud, improving collection rates, sharing back offices and making better use of surplus public sector assets."

All of the council's services are under review.

Last year, staff took four days' unpaid leave to save up to £1.5m.

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