Page last updated at 15:14 GMT, Saturday, 6 March 2010

Unison in warning over Cornwall Council budget cuts

Pound coins
Mr Prentis said 70p of every 1 earned is spent locally in Cornwall

Planned spending cuts at Cornwall Council could devastate the local economy, the head of Britain's biggest trade union has warned.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said as the county's biggest single employer, cutting £100m over four years could be particularly damaging.

The council said the budget cuts were necessary to try to balance the books.

Up to 600 jobs will go, but the council said the majority of these would come from a recruitment freeze.

'Recovery threat'

It said it had no plans for mass redundancies, but it has put aside a £7m reserve for redundancy payments.

But Mr Prentis told BBC News the job losses could seriously affect the county's recovery from the recession.

"The point I'd like to make very strongly is, especially in an area like Cornwall, for every £1 a council worker earns - and they don't earn very much - they spend 70p in the local shops," he said.

"In most of the communities in Cornwall, half the public sector jobs are based on public contracts and if they go, what we do is worsen the recession for the people of Cornwall."



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