Hundreds of jobs are under threat at county hall

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UNION leaders at Northants County Council have described plans which could see 576 lose their jobs, as “depressing, but inevitable”.

Staff from across the authority were made aware of the plans this week. The cuts followed the council’s announcement that savings of more than £100 million needed to be made over the next four years.

Unison branch secretary Steve Bennett, said: “It’s a fairly depressing time for everybody, but it’s what you expect in this current climate where local government is being blamed for every bit of debt the country has got, it seems. We’ve been told it could be 296 posts that could go, but we’re hoping it will be far fewer than that, once the consultation has ended.”

Staff were told of possible job cuts last week and employee consultations have already begun.

An NCC spokesman said 296 full and part time post were under review affecting 576 workers. She said the consultation began as soon as possible to maximise the potential for redeployment and added: “We are currently working on budget proposals which aim to make savings of around £100 million.

“As part of this, we have started consultation with trade unions and with employees who may be directly affected by these proposals.”

It is anticipated the number of full-time equivalent county hall jobs directly affected is 132, with a further 164 posts at risk at educational services funded by NCC.

The authority employs around 5,000 people, aside from those in the schools.