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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Public sector cuts bite hard

This morning's Western Mail carries the less than cheerful news that local Councils in Wales who are struggling to make ends meet could shed as many as 10,000 jobs in Wales over the next four years.

The paper says that at least two Welsh councils are understood to be examining the possibility of “hundreds” of job cuts in the short-term, with fears that budget deficits could quadruple over the next three years. Local government experts have warned of the biggest squeeze on public services in a generation.

The report points out that the consequences of the banking crisis, which have already caused significant job losses in the private sector, are expected to feed through to councils during the financial year that starts in April.

Council chief executives and finance directors are briefing local politicians on the options open to them in a climate where experts are predicting the need for bigger cuts than had previously been expected.

This is not unexpected but nevertheless it will impact on everybody in Wales. Setting Council budgets will become more challenging if not impossible and some very painful decisions will have to be made. I have already seen reports from more Councils than the two referred to, who anticipate shedding hundreds of jobs and this is irrespective of the controlling party or parties.

I suppose we can do little more at present than to watch this space.
Yup, 740 in Neath Port Talbot, but spread over several years. We trust that it will be borne by natural wastage - ie, no compulsory redundancies - as there is a large annual turnover of staff.

As you say, party political differences disappear at times like this.
Job losses for many can be avoided and cuts in public services alos without the need for council tax increases if a simple dictum will ensue; that public sector wages should be cut by 15-20% for mid and high earners.
This will ensure young people 16-21 will have opportunity for work . Also chief exec's and department leaders wages 100k or more for all of them should be halved to less the amount an elected assembly member receives, basic inclusive economics.
Large annual turnover of staff...along with a high sickness rate.

What's the %age of women in senor management positions within the local authority?
Surely senor management is what female chief execs do in Spain?
woodland mouse: even cutting the pay of CEs and department heads by a tenth, never mind halving it, would require cooperation with England. It is difficult enough to attract high-powered senior local government administrators to Wales as it is.

Anonymous: I trust lead-swingers will receive short shrift in the next four years, and will not be bribed by early-retirement packages.
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