Cuts Watch #343: 2,000 jobs to be lost at Manchester City Council
About 2,000 jobs are to go at Manchester City Council in the next 12 months as a result of government spending cuts (17% of the workforce). The Guardian reports that this brings the total number of council jobs across the UK formally declared ‘at risk’ to more than 113,000, with 350 town halls yet to reveal their plans.
Despite claims by the government that front line services will be protected, Manchester has said that workers at all grades and in all departments are at risk, including street cleaners and social workers as well as administrators, managers and accountants. Only those involved in teaching will be exempt. The council have also highlighted that although the ‘official’ cut to the budget amounts to 16% over two years, the removal or reprofiling of specialist grants means the cut in real terms could be nearer 25 % over the same period.
These cuts are shocking, but unsurprising. Following the local government finance settlement at the end of last year the LGA warned that service reductions would be inevitable, and that the settlement would hit councils hard. Baroness Eaton, LGA chairman, said
‘the level of spending reductions that councils are going to have to make goes way beyond anything that conventional efficiency drives such as shared services, can achieve.’