Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Thursday, 26 February 2009

Four councils to make job cuts

Woman with laptop
Most redundancies have been among backroom staff, the LGA says

Four of the six councils in Berkshire are axing jobs or leaving posts vacant, figures obtained by the BBC show.

About 140 jobs will go, will be left vacant or will be redeployed, while one authority - Bracknell Council - is planning no cutbacks.

Reading Borough Council would not comment on any potential job losses until its 2009/10 budget was set.

Half of the 130 councils across England have cut posts, according to estimates from the Local Government Association.

Communities minister John Healey said councils should not cut jobs as an easy option, but residents must come first.

Further cutbacks

Authorities blame the cuts on the effects of the recession, with a sharp drop in income from everything from land searches to car parks.

In Berkshire, Reading councillors have so far failed to reach agreement on the budget for the coming year and said they would not comment on potential job losses until it is decided.

But in October, the council said it could not rule out cuts due to the economic climate.

Fewer than 10 job losses are planned at Maidenhead and Windsor council.

Wokingham council said 10 employees were at risk of being made redundant in the coming year.

It said it would try to redeploy staff where possible.

In Slough 50 jobs are going through redundancy or redeployment and a further 50 vacant posts will not be filled.

Twenty jobs will be lost at West Berkshire council, with a further 10 vacant roles not being filled.

Bracknell council said it had no plans for cuts.

However, many of the 15 local authorities could not rule out further cutbacks in the future.

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