Unions react to Leeds City Council job cuts warning

UNIONS SAY frontline services cannot be protected from harm if a warning of more job cuts on the horizon at Leeds City Council comes to fruition.

Thursday, 21st July 2016, 10:27 am
Updated Thursday, 21st July 2016, 11:29 am
Bosses at Leeds Civic Hall are warning of further cuts to council jobs.

In a bombshell announcement this week, the council said one in six of the total workforce could lose their jobs as under-pressure civic hall bosses try to balance the books.

It said that up to 2,000 job cuts could be needed by 2020 as a result of the Government’s austerity measures and “demand-led pressures”.

The statement issued on Tuesday night left representatives of the GMB union reeling.

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Darran Travis said: “We have had a series of meetings and I’m shocked that we have never been told of this matter.

“On behalf of the workforce, we will be demanding a meeting with council leaders and I can assure them we will do everything we can to fight these moves, which will mean cuts in services and the loss of jobs for Leeds people.”

A spokesman for Leeds Unison said: “We fail to see how further reductions in the Leeds City Council workforce will not affect frontline services.

“The citizens of Leeds will no doubt see reductions in the services provided by the authority and also are likely to see reductions in the quality of service provided.”

He lay the blame at the Government’s door, saying the introduction of a new Prime Minister and Chancellor had done nothing to improve the financial position of local authorities.

He added that union would continue to work with the council to find alternative ways of avoiding job losses.

Council leader Judith Blake has urged the Government to reconsider its strategy for deficit reduction and future funding for local government.

The council’s cabinet will next week consider how key services will be safeguarded.