Page last updated at 17:06 GMT, Monday, 15 February 2010

Up to 4,000 council jobs at risk in Wales

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One in three public sector employers are planning to cut jobs

Up to 4,000 local authority jobs could be lost in Wales over the next few years as councils look to save millions of pounds.

The squeeze on budgets means some Welsh councils have already announced hundreds of proposed job losses.

A new survey suggested that almost a third of public sector employers were planning to shed jobs in the first quarter of this year.

The Welsh Local Government Association warned the situation would get worse.

Association chief executive Steve Thomas confirmed 2,000 to 4,000 council jobs could be lost in Wales.

"Some of those job losses are over a three to four-year period," he said.

"For example, Neath Port Talbot has announced 750 job losses over a three-year period - Cardiff this year has announced 300 job losses.

"The key point to make is that most of them are not compulsory redundancies."

Up to 300 jobs have already been reported at risk at Newport council as it attempts to save £9m next year, while Swansea council has warned of compulsory job cuts.

A Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) survey said one in three public sector employers were planning to cut jobs before the start of the financial year.

More than 700 employers showed a "substantial" fall in employment intentions among public sector organisations, marking a "difficult" first quarter of the year for jobs.

Largest employer

Local government consultant Jeff Jones said local authority jobs were particularly important in Wales.

"If you look at the 22 local authorities in Wales, with the majority of them outside some of the bigger cities they are the largest employer in the area," he said.

"People talk about large private sector firms - in Wales we haven't got those large private sector firms.

"What we've got are large public sector organisations, either the national health trust in the area or the local authority.

"A lot of people work for them but at the same time, a lot of people supply goods to them from the private sector so if they're reducing their expenditure, it could have a knock-on effect right across the board."

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