Recession’s ‘perfect storm’ sweeps UK council jobs

By Rob O’Brien

The depth of the UK recession has been felt in local government with an estimated 670 council jobs lost in England over the last six months.

Three in five councils have made staff reductions in the last six months and a similar proportion are planning to cut posts over the course of the next year, according to research published by the UK Local Government Association (LGA).

The rate of job losses is expected to continue at the same pace over the course of the next year.

Job losses have been felt across the board with senior and middle management affected. Almost half (45 per cent) of councils that have made cuts said that senior management posts have been cut. Nine out of ten councils in London have cut posts and eight in ten will cut posts in the next 12 months.

LGA figures show that councils expect to see income drop by £2.5 billion ($5 million) this financial year.

”Councils are being hit by a perfect storm caused by the recession,” Sir Jeremy Beecham, Vice-Chairman of the LGA said.

“Income is dropping away fast at a time when more and more people are turning to councils to help them through tough times.

“Just as the private sector is having to cut back during tough times, so too are councils faced with incredibly difficult decisions.

“It is a highly unpleasant decision for any council to cut jobs but they also understand that local people are suffering because of the recession.”

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