Magazine article Public Finance

New Unitary Aims to Slash Jobs to Save £30M

Magazine article Public Finance

New Unitary Aims to Slash Jobs to Save £30M

Article excerpt

A new unitary authority is making £30m worth of cuts - with hundreds of jobs expected to be lost - in a pre-emptive attempt to tackle the public sector spending squeeze.

Cheshire West & Chester Council was formed on April 1, with an initia] £30m reduction on the budgets of its predecessor authorities and an overall loss of 220 jobs. It is now looking at a second tranche of redundancies to slash costs by a further £30m.

But the northwest council said it was not responding to a budget gap. Instead, it is anticipating tighter times ahead.

Cheshire West & Chester's action comes as two local authorities - Birmingham City Council and Somerset County Council - are considering freezing staff pay, a move that would mean failure to implement any nationally agreed pay rise. Unions are currently consulting members nationally on a 1% rise, with 1.25% for the lowest paid staff.

The Cheshire authority has almost 15,000 staff in total, but teachers and social workers are exempt from the trawl for voluntary redundancies. …

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