Knowsley Council announces job losses

Published on: Thursday, 27-November-2014

As part of Knowsley Council’s plans to identify £34 million of savings, it has today confirmed that 130 jobs will be lost in 2015/16.  This is a direct result of the Government’s cuts to the Council’s funding.

Despite having already made £60 million of savings since 2010, the level of cuts imposed by the Government means that the Council is facing a further deficit of £34 million over the next two years.  The savings can only be achieved through reducing the level of services which the Council provides, and that means reducing its workforce.

The Council has undertaken a thorough review of what is delivered and how it is delivered in order to identify savings for consideration.  The proposed savings include reducing opening hours at the Borough’s libraries, reducing highways and environmental maintenance, and increasing e-billing and online services.

The Council’s workforce has already been cut by a quarter since 2010, mainly through voluntary redundancies and early retirements.  A further £810,000 of savings has recently been identified from a reduction in the Council’s senior management team.  The Council had been exploring a range of options to make further savings, including changes to terms and conditions of employment and a possible “Christmas closedown”, but Knowsley’s trade unions refused to discuss those options.

Councillor Ron Round, Leader of Knowsley Council said, “Knowsley’s funding has been cut more than any other council in the country.  We are doing all we can to protect services for residents but we are having to make some difficult decisions about reducing the services we provide as well as our own workforce.  The wide-ranging proposals, together with the job losses, reflect just how far we are having to go to make the required savings.  We will be talking to our staff and communities regarding the proposals and how we can limit the impact they may have.”

“Unfortunately, the 130 jobs we need to lose next year will still not solve our long-term funding problems.  Unless a future Government finds a way to give us the funding we deserve, further service reductions are inevitable.  We will of course do everything we can to maximise the numbers who leave voluntarily but the scale of the funding cuts means that compulsory redundancies are unavoidable.”

“We did hope that we would be able to reduce the number of job losses by reviewing our terms and conditions, and it is disappointing that we have been unable to progress these discussions with the trade unions.”