Up to 600 more jobs could be lost at Leeds City Council as the authority battles to make £52m more savings.
Over two years the council has already lost 1,000 posts as it copes with government grant cuts and an increased demand for its services.
This financial year it is looking to save £90m. Initial budget figures for 2012-13 indicate more jobs will be cut. Council leader, Coun Keith Wakefield, told the YEP between 500 and 600 jobs could have to go.
So far job losses at the council have been on a voluntary basis – with people opting for a severance package or early retirement.
Coun Wakefield said that at this stage he could not rule out compulsory redundancies in the latest round of cuts.
He said some services would be reduced but he was not anticipating any major new closures of facilities such as libraries or sports centres. Council tax will not increase.
Social services and children’s services – which face increased demand – will be given budget increases.
The council’s current net budget for providing its services is £582m and it employs about 13,000 people.
Coun Wakefield said: “The role of councils is fundamentally changing – this budget reflects that. Leeds City Council simply cannot afford to be the conventional service provider we have traditionally always been. We need to be driving economic growth, so that local people, especially our young people, have real opportunities to fulfill their potential.
“The scale of the challenge we face is massive. Let’s not forget that Government funding for councils is being slashed, in real terms, by nearly 30 per cent over 4 years, with much of that cut being front loaded.
“We are continuing to prioritise funding for our elderly and our young people, but we also need to ensure we are securing investment and developing partnerships that will deliver jobs and homes. Help is simply not going to come from the government so it vital we take action here in Leeds to make those ambitions a reality.
“The only way we will really find innovative ways to make the most of rapidly reducing funding is by changing the way we ourselves do business. That is why this budget places much more emphasis on working with our partners in the voluntary and private sectors, as well as encouraging closer working between different council departments.”
The initial 2012-13 budget proposals will be presented to the council’s Executive Board on December 14.