Both Bradford Council staff and the public need to be prepared for the “heart wrenching” cuts to jobs, according to a union representing many council workers.
After the approval of the Council’s 2014/15 budget on Thursday, the authority now faces the task of cutting hundreds of jobs in numerous departments in the coming years.
While it managed to save many under threat services, its leader, Councillor David Green, warned that the money being used to keep services like children’s centres and public toilets running were not “pennies from heaven – it comes from real people losing their jobs and real cuts to services”.
And these comments have since been echoed by Rob Demaine, regional organiser of Unison.
It is estimated that the Labour-run authority will have to cut 650 equivalent full-time jobs to balance its budget and negotiations with trade unions have now begun.
A reduction in the amount of money the Council receives from central government means the authority will have to find £115 million of savings over the next three years.
Despite councillors agreeing to increase Council Tax by 1.6 per cent, the budget will still require job losses.
There will be reductions to both the number of ward officers and community wardens, as well as a review of the parks and woodland workforce that would see the number of year-round staff reduced.
In financial services there will be job cuts saving £616,000 in the next two years. The commissioning department will see job cuts saving £428,000 over two years, while the human resources department will see job cuts saving £1.2 million in that period.
There will also be a reduction in the number of staff dealing with disabled children.
Other high-profile departments facing cuts include the city solicitor’s office and the chief executive’s office, which will require “efficiencies” in the offices of the three main political groups.
Mr Demaine said: “When the cuts from Government are as big as they are then losses were inevitable – but these are really going to hurt.
“We’ll work with the Council to mitigate the job losses as much as possible. The blame really lies with the national Government which is giving more funding to the south over northern cities.
“These job loses are going to make it a really heart wrenching time. It’s unbelievable. The people who wanted to take voluntary redundancy have already pretty much gone. Inefficiencies and surplus jobs have already been cut – so these losses are going to be noticeable.”