Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 18:01 UK

City council set to cut 465 jobs

A cost-cutting programme will lead to more than 450 jobs going at Derby City Council, it has been revealed.

The authority said it had carried out a wide-ranging review which supported plans to save £32m over three years.

Officials said they wanted to provide better value for money while working to alleviate projected funding shortfalls.

The equivalent of 465 full-time positions will go over the next three years but the council said it hoped most of these will be natural wastage.

The 20-week review looked at all areas of council work, excluding schools.

We're surprised that the only alternative that has been put forward is the same old mantra of job losses
Charlie Carruth, Unison

The proposed losses represent almost 10% of the workforce under review.

Staff were told of the cuts via an email and union briefings.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat-run council, Hilary Jones said: "An email did go out to all staff but officers had already met with union reps earlier on in the afternoon, so that happened first, then the email went out to all staff.

"You've got to be able to communicate with all the staff. We've got 12,000 including school staff working for us and the quickest way to communicate is by email."

Adam Wilkinson, chief executive of the council, said staff needed to be informed quickly as a report was due to be discussed by senior councillors this week and the authority did not want workers to find out through a third party.

'Funding gaps'

Councillor Jones said: "Our intention is that the reductions will be achieved through people leaving the council for other jobs and through retirements. There will also be recruitment controls put in place as vacant posts arise.

"The review is forecast to deliver over £32m of gross savings over the next three years although in the short term, investment will be needed.

"This will help address some, but not all of the forecasted funding gaps in the council's budgets over the coming years.

"In the longer term, the review is expected to deliver permanent, annual savings of over £20m by 2014/15, some of which the council will be able to invest in priority service areas".

Union leaders said the cuts could affect frontline services.

Charlie Carruth, of Unison, said: "We were aware there was going to be a review ongoing of services.

"We're surprised that the only alternative that has been put forward is the same old mantra of job losses and looking at other service providers, which is short-sighted and will actually damage the economy of Derby."

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