23rd Oct, 2017

Coventry City Council to axe another 1,000 jobs

Coventry Editorial 1st Aug, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

COUNCIL bosses have not ruled out compulsory redundancies after announcing another 1,000 workers will lose their jobs.

The cash-strapped authority had already made it clear jobs would be axed but until this week remained tight-lipped over numbers.

A previous cull saw 1,000 workers take voluntary redundancy or early retirement but finance chief Coun Damian Gannon said it was unclear if that was possible this time.

He told the Observer: “We’re doing all we can to avoid compulsory redundancies but if these schemes don’t get the level of interest we need then we might not have any other option.

“But it is our very last option and we will do all we can to avoid that.

“Most of our costs go on staffing so we need to look at that to get a balanced budget in the future but we have been far-sighted in this compared to other councils.”

Key posts including social workers, some specialist education and social care posts and bin collectors have been spared the axe.

But other staff will have until mid-October to decide on their futures before management teams make the final call. The council will need to double the savings made through the loses – around £30million – in order to balance its books by 2018.

Half of the council’s funding from government will have disappeared between 2010 and 2016 along with a third of the council’s 6,000-strong workforce.

And Coun Gannon said the organisation would continue to downsize if government cuts continued.

“All indications from both parties are that whoever is in control after the general election isn’t going to have a lot of money to splash around.

“There will come a time when we are only going to be looking after children and taking care of vulnerable adults, and bin collecting – maybe by the mid 2020s.

“We need to sort out the social care system across the country and although these cuts can’t last forever we need to cut our cloth accordingly. We’ve only been given bad news by the government.”

He added: “We have fought these cuts and lobbied government. But we’re sensible politicians and are always committed to setting a balanced budget – otherwise minister Eric Pickles will send some civil servants in to do it for us.”

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