Unions and bosses at Cambs County Council agree on only thing - the likely impact of 450 job cuts

UNIONS and bosses at Cambridgeshire County Council agreed on only one thing today- plans to axe 450 jobs this year will have a devastating impact.

“Employees and unions are being told this week where redundancies may be expected as part of the authority’s proposals to meet tough savings,” said a council spokesman.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance, said: “Our employees do a very good job in some very hard conditions and we are trying as hard as possible to retain as many front line employees as we can while making the savings needed.

“This is the toughest budget we have ever faced and we have to make very hard decisions, especially as we are already a lean and efficient council.”

But Peter Gaskin, branch officer for Unison, said: “Our members are angry to be paying for the bankers to keep their bonuses by sacrificing their services to the public of Cambridgeshire.

“Each post lost will mean one person’s life being devastated at a time when the jobs market is not growing

“People who work in local government are mainly women who earn well below �21,000 and they did not even receive the Chancellor’s �250 announced in the budget.

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“Staff is already subsidising services to the public and they soon won’t be able to afford to go to work. What is happening is a disgrace and the public should be extremely worried about the future of their services.”

In December the council said it had to make predicted savings of around �160.6 million over the next five years – including up to 450 people leaving the authority in the coming year.

The main grant given by Government has reduced by 14 per cent from last year.

The council says the savings are needed to meet the reductions the Coalition Government requires the council to make. It is also needed to help pay for the rising costs and extra demands on essential services resulting from the county’s population growth and people living longer.

Unison says 450 possible posts being lost this year could also be followed by more redundancies in the next two years.

Mr Gaskell added: “There is an alternative - a Robin Hood Tax on the banks; closing tax loopholes; policies for jobs and green growth.

The full budget proposals will be discussed by councillors at Cabinet on January 25 and a final decision made at a meeting of the Council on February 15.

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