Page last updated at 08:34 GMT, Thursday, 28 January 2010

Hundreds of council jobs in Swansea and Newport at risk

A refuse collector
Public services have been told they face unprecedented budget cuts

Up to 300 jobs are at risk at Newport council as it attempts to save £9m next year, staff have been warned.

Employees have been sent letters warning them about possible job cuts.

Its leader, Matthew Evans, said the authority was operating in challenging economic conditions and was facing one of its toughest budgets.

Meanwhile, the leader of Swansea council has told his local newspaper that the authority will be forced to impose compulsory redundancies.

Speaking in the Swansea Evening Post, Chris Holley said the council would also have to revise plans announced last year to cut 500 staff, with hundreds more of the workforce now under threat.

In Newport, Mr Evans said the sheer scale of the cuts required means the authority had to consider all options, which reluctantly included staffing.

'Massive'

The authority is doing what it can to protect staff and will aim to achieve any cuts by not filling vacancies, redeployment or retraining.

According to the Western Mail, more than 10,000 jobs could go in local councils over the next four years.

The Mail said that was an estimate based on figures from the UK government.

Last March, the Welsh Local Government Association warned at least 700 local government jobs would be lost in Wales in 2009 and up to 2,000 by 2011 due to the recession.

A month earlier, the then Finance Minister Andrew Davies told BBC Wales' Dragon's Eye programme that Welsh public services were facing an "unprecedented" £500m budget cut in 2010.

He warned that this would have a massive knock-on effect on health, education and local government spending.



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