Hereford & Worcester

Herefordshire Council cuts: 200 more jobs go after review of savings

A further 200 jobs are to go at Herefordshire Council after a review found it needed to save £8.4m this year.

The council will also be talking to staff about changing terms and conditions to help "reduce our pay bill".

The union Unison called the planned cuts a "jobs massacre" and blamed the government's austerity programme.

The council is trying to cut £53.3m from its £331m budget by 2016.

Plans to cut up to 120 jobs this year had already been announced by the authority

The job cuts over the next two years have been announced after a review of savings plans by the incoming chief executive, Alistair Neill.

Mass meeting

The review "identified weaknesses" in the council's budget plans, which led it to "review all service areas to find further savings".

Mr Neill said the council would try to make some cuts by not filling vacancies, but warned that "in some cases the last resort will be about compulsory redundancies".

Steve Akers from Unison said this was a question of the council and the community deciding whether they want austerity to "bite this hard".

"The Conservative administration in this county has got to ask its MPs and make representation to government on that issue," he added.

The union is planning at a mass meeting at Hereford Town Hall on Thursday.

This year the council said it planned to find £3.1m of savings from corporate services, £1.7m from the places and communities directorate, £1m from children's services and £3.5m from adult services.

The actual number of staff affected could be higher than 200, according to the council, because part-time jobs have been added up to make the equivalent of full-time posts.

The authority employs just over 1,000 people and said it has written to all staff to alert them about the planned cuts.

Councillors at the Conservative-controlled authority will debate the cuts at a meeting on 16 May.

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