Monday, March 1, 2010

Your turn now.

It looks like 25,000 council jobs may be lost as the recession finally catches up with public services.

BBC.
At least 25,000 council jobs in England will be under threat in the next three to five years, a BBC survey suggests.
The forecast is based on answers from 49 councils with a combined workforce of 256,000, suggesting cuts of 10%.
Services such as libraries and nurseries face cuts as councils grapple with the impact of the recession.
Responding to the survey, PM Gordon Brown insisted that, while there was a need for efficiency savings, there was no need for cuts to services.
One expert said the number of job losses could reach 100,000, while one union warned of "social disharmony".
Councils across the UK say jobs and services will have to be cut if, as they expect, funding from central government is reduced.
More than 70% of councils in England that responded to the survey predicted spending cuts of between 5% and 20%.
Roads, libraries, the arts and leisure appear most at risk of cutbacks. Children's social services, services for the homeless and planning appear to be safest.
The Local Government Association, which represents English and Welsh local authorities, said town halls had been battling the effects of recession for more than a year.
"Sources of income have dropped sharply at a time when more and more people are turning to councils to help them through tough times," said chairman Dame Margaret Eaton.
Thing is, private industry started dealing with this 2 years ago, cutting costs and trimming their budgets to suit whilst public services were still getting pay rises and golden handshakes coupled with rate rises. Now finally the government has run out of money and they're looking down the barrel of a gun as the local authorities simply don't have the money to keep them going.
Thing is though that the local authorities also have a number of what are described as non jobs too, Diversity awareness co-ordinators and the like, they also provide translation services in a multitude of languages too. Yet I'd be amazed if they're the one to be sacrificed, it's more likely to be your binman, the guy who fixes the streetlights or the guys fixing the roads, looking after the recreation grounds or the ladies looking after the elderly. In other words you can expect cuts in frontline services, not support or ancillary boondoggles.
Easy way to save money would be to cut council advertising and translation services, can't read English? then find somebody who speaks your language to translate, don't expect the council to do it for you. Works in France, will work here. Gay Pride march? Fine, pay for it yourself. Black History Month? Fine, pay for it yourself.
Costs can be cut, they just have to be cut from non essential services, not those that actually matter to the public, but you can bet money that the jobs that go will be the ones that we most notice.

3 annotations:

JuliaM said...

The 'Mash' nails this one!

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/horrible-dragon-threatens-council-worker-fantasy-land-201003012514/

English Pensioner said...

It depends how you interpret the figures. As I explain in my own blog, the 25,000 figure is an overall figure for ALL councils, based on a survey of 49 councils whom employ around 250,000 staff. As there are 150 councils, presumably they employ around 750,000 people, and thus the staff reduction is not 10% but more like 3%.
Or at least that's how I interpret the statement!

tris said...

Get rid of the highly paid and usless management.