87,374 Jobs Under Threat at 107 Councils Throughout the UK

22 Dec 2010

87,374 jobs are under threat at 107 local authorities as council workers face a miserable Christmas and bleak New Year. These are not town hall pen pushers but social workers, school dinner ladies, meals on wheels providers, refuse collectors, home helps, youth workers, across the range of front line council services that are being decimated says GMB.

GMB’s up to date list shows that a total of 87,374 posts are under threat of being made redundant at 107 councils across Britain. In nearly all these councils a 90 day statutory consultation period is underway on how to deal with these job losses. Councils have given notice that they plan to delete vacant posts and seek volunteers for early retirements and redundancy.

Under the Trades Union and Labour Relations(Consolidation) Act 1992 employers are required to give the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills an advance (HR1) notification of potential redundancies and to send copies to recognised trades unions. Section 6 of the HR1 form sets out the number of possible redundancies and the date on the form triggers the 90 day consultation period. The information below on the levels of posts under threat is mainly drawn from this source. Section 4 deals with timing of redundancies and the most common date on the HR1 forms is 31st March 2011. Some volunteers have already left.

Since the GMB press release of 10 December listing 71 councils another 36 councils have been added to the list. These are - with number of posts threatened - Trafford Borough Council;150;Preston City Council;150,  London Borough of Newham;1,200; Thurrock Council;292 ;Oxfordshire County Council;1,000 ;Harlow District Council; 30;North Devon District Council;50; Nottingham City Council;800; Portsmouth City Council;408 ;Epsom and Ewell Council;70; Medway Council;20; Devon County Council;1,700;South Tyneside Council ;1,200; Basildon District Council;100 ;Durham County Council;1,600 ;Warwickshire Police Authority;450 ;Copeland District Council;44 ;Reading Borough Council;100 ;Windsor and Maidenhead Council;50 ;Burnley District Council;70 ; Northamptonshire County Council;600 ;Dyfed Police Authority;350; North Lanarkshire Council;576 ;North East Lincolnshire Council;200 ;North Wales Police Authority;242 ; Hull City Council;110 ;London Borough of Harrow;300 ;East Dunbartonshire Council;150 ;Dumfries and Galloway Council;178 ;Glasgow City Councils and arms;3000 ; Milton Keynes Council;86; Central Bedfordshire Council;184; Luton Borough Council;500; Bedford Borough Council;170 and Peak District National Park; 44 posts.

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said “The cuts are here and now as the tsunami of job losses in local authorities just keeps coming. We have 87,374 posts threatened so far at 107 councils. GMB officers are consulting members on what they want the union to do in this unprecedented situation. These are not town hall pen pushers but social workers, school dinner ladies, meals on wheels providers, refuse collectors, home helps, youth workers, across the range of front line council services that are being decimated. It is the most vulnerable in our community that will suffer.

The axe is now falling indiscriminately on people who played no part in causing the deficit but are expected to lose their jobs to pay for it. The debt junkies in the banks, hedge funds and private equity houses who caused this recession have been bailed out using £850 billions of taxpayers funds while the government shamefully seeks to pass the blame onto overspending in the public sector.”

Statistics only tell part of the story. Every job lost is a personal tragedy and often a family left despairing for their future. What sort of a Christmas is it going to be for the council workers under notice of redundancy? The unfilled posts deleted means there are no other jobs to go to especially in those most deprived areas where councils are the main employer. It’s all too easy to excuse the cuts as necessary – but has anyone thought, seriously thought, about the terrible human cost?”

Posts under threat as of 22nd December 2010 in Yorkshire & The Humber:

    Job Losses/(Pay Cuts)

Leeds City Council - 3,000
Kirklees - 2,198
Sheffield City Council - 2,000
Bradford City Council - 2,000
Barnsley MBC - 1,270 (5%)
Doncaster MBC plus St Leger Homes - 950
City of York Council - 600
North East Lincolnshire Council - 200
East Riding Yorkshire - 135
Hull City Council - 110
North Lincolnshire Council - 21
Derbyshire County Council - 2,000