Page last updated at 06:08 GMT, Monday, 1 March 2010

West Yorkshire councils predict 5,000 job cuts

Huddersfield Town Hall
Plans for cuts at Kirklees council have sparked protests

Almost 5,000 council jobs could be cut in West Yorkshire in the next three to five years, a BBC survey has found.

The cuts were forecast as the county's local authorities revealed plans to significantly reduce spending.

Kirklees Council said 1,500 jobs could go, Leeds council expects more than 1,400 posts to be axed and Bradford council could cut 1,000 posts.

Meanwhile, Wakefield and Calderdale councils said they each expected to reduce their workforce by about 400.

The predicted job cuts in Kirklees and Leeds were the highest among the English councils which responded to the Facing The Cuts survey by BBC News.

Vulnerable areas

Kirklees Council finance director Adrian Lythgo said the authority was trying to find ways of softening the blow of job cuts.

"One of the things we're looking at, given different levels of job losses, is what impact that will have on the local economy," he said.

"We are looking at how we can work to avoid that as, hopefully, we come out of recession along with everyone else."

Kirklees Council said it expected a 15-20% reduction in spending in real terms in the next three to five years.

All services were likely to be squeezed with the greatest protection likely in social care, it added.

Spending at Leeds City Council is expected to fall by 5-10% in real terms in the same period.

Leeds Civic Hall
Leeds Council has said 300 jobs will go in the coming year

The council said it was looking at "new ways of working", better use of technology, and increasing fees and charges for services such as burials.

It said the areas most vulnerable to spending cuts would be children's social services, leisure and arts.

Bradford Council expects a 20-25% reduction in spending and is seeking to save some £10m by 2015 through sharing services with neighbouring councils, better use of public buildings and buying-in expertise.

It said adult social services, environmental services, economic development, libraries, leisure and the arts would take the brunt of the cuts.

In Wakefield, council spending is expected to drop 10-15% with environmental services, planning, libraries, leisure, arts and voluntary organisations most at risk.

Calderdale council expects a 15-20% reduction in spending in real terms and is looking to cut management layers, freeze pay and centralise "back office" functions.

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