Oldham Council to lose 800 jobs as budget approved

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About 800 jobs are expected to be lost at Oldham Council as a result of government cuts to its budget.

The leader of the Liberal Democrat-run council, Howard Sykes, said compulsory redundancies were likely.

The budget was formally approved at a meeting on Wednesday, where the council outlined how it would save more than £40m in the coming year.

Cost-cutting measures include the closure of three care homes and funding cuts for youth services and Sure Start.

The authority needs to save £23m from its 2011-12 budget and a further £15m in 2012-13.

As Oldham's biggest employer it has nearly 5,000 staff.

'Radical proposal'

Mr Sykes said the process had been "very tough".

"Unlike some other authorities, we're not touching things like libraries and leisure centres and swimming pools, things that we think people think are important out there," he said.

"It's a different sort of way we have tried to balance the budget and make the savings we have needed to find."

Speaking after the meeting, he talked about impending job losses and proposals to cut the number of councillors from 60 to 40.

"We have taken a huge amount out - we have taken £1m out of senior management and we have taken a much more radical proposal which is to reduce the number of councillors," he said.

"Stop fiddling on the edges. Listen to the number one top of the list from public and staff.

"Share the pain equally with the councillors. Don't just trim off a couple of bob. We are making people redundant. That's not an easy decision."