Union hits out as Barnsley cuts 450 jobs

15 Feb 01
Unison has slammed a decision by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council to cut 450 jobs as 'unnecessary, incompetent and destructive'.

16 February 2001

The council has announced it intends to shed about 4% of its workforce, mainly in finance and corporate services. Up to 75 finance jobs will be lost in exchequer and accountancy services.

The council maintained that the figure of 450 redundancies included vacant posts that will not now be filled. It added that most of the staff involved will leave through voluntary redundancy or take voluntary early retirement.

However, the union said that up to 600 jobs could be lost and it was considering balloting its members on industrial action as Public Finance went to press.

The council announced the job cuts as part of its budget for 2001/02. A spokeswoman said a review of its finances had revealed a funding shortfall of £11m over the next two years. The two-year strategy would provide a strong base for the future and reflect the council's commitment to invest in education, social services and highways.

From April, the area's schools will receive an extra £2.95m, while the council will plough an additional sum of just over £1m into social services. The highways budget will be increased by £300,000.

The new budget assumes a council tax increase of 6.5% in 2001/02 – making the band D rate for the district's services £801.21. The council will also spend revenue balances of £1.3m to bring its budget back into balance.

Council leader Stephen Houghton said: 'The budget has been made on a strategic basis. Our aim is to make Barnsley council a leaner and more efficient organisation.

'There is no escaping the fact that there will be redundancies. We deeply regret this and every effort will be made to help and support those affected by the situation.'


Did you enjoy this article?