Fears Raised On Council Job Cuts

Around 300 workers at a north Wales council could lose their jobs according to a trade union. Unison has warned jobs at Gwynedd Council could be cut by the authority to help it balance its finances. The council has not confirmed the total but said letters offering voluntary redundancy had been sent to staff.

BBC radio current affairs programme Llinyn Mesur has learned that more councils could have to reduce staffing levels to balance budgets. According to the programme, Gwynedd Council will have to save £4m over the next three years.

Unison spokesman Silyn Roberts said council workers had recently received letters and that job losses were already under way.

Over the next three years Gwynedd Council will receive £12m less from the Welsh Assembly Government.

Council leader Richard Parry Hughes said it was too early to talk of enforced sackings, adding he hoped cuts could be made via natural wastage and efficiencies.

John Davies, leader of Pembrokeshire Council and education spokesperson for the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), said other counties faced similar financial problems. He added that rural council had extra costs and both Powys and Ceredigion councils were having to make redundancies.

In December, Powys Council voted to make seven of its most senior managers redundant in a drive to reduce costs.

The council said it was facing a £6m shortfall in its 2007 budget and had been forced to protect its services.