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Blackpool council leader says "brutal" cuts mean tough times ahead

Blackpool Council says it's facing £36million in budget cuts. Credit: PA

Blackpool Council has warned staff it's cutting 700 jobs over the next two years.

The authority says it needs to axe the jobs to make savings as it deals with a £36m budget shortfall.

Council Leader Simon Blackburn said the authority has: "looked over every single penny we spend and prioritised accordingly."

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Region has its work cut out, says survey

Job search: A woman scours ads in the hope of finding work Credit: PA Images

Job confidence in the North West is the second lowest in the country, according to the careers service. It looked at whether people felt they had the right skills and qualifications and whether they were encouraged by signs of economic recovery.

Over 4,000 people in England took part in the index, which is based on seven areas ranging from job and personal experience to qualifications and opportunities. It shows an overall job confidence score of 51.8 out of 100.

The picture across the country is a relatively consistent one but whilst job confidence is highest in London and the South East of England, confidence is lowest in the West Midlands.

The North West was second lowest with a rate of 51.2 out of 100 .

Joe Billington, director of the National Careers Service, said: "While people are slowly becoming more confident, we see significant numbers of people who need support and encouragement to take the right steps to a new job."

Jobs axe was "not an easy decision" says Direct Line boss

Direct Line insists it will try to find work for hundreds of staff made redundant across the North West.

Bosses told 485 workers in Liverpool that their office will close. 80 people at the firm's Manchester site also face losing their jobs.

The firm is cutting costs nationwide.

The proposed closure of our Liverpool claims centre was not an easy decision to make and we understand the effect this announcement has on our people. We have now commenced a period of consultation with those potentially affected and they will be supported by their employee representative bodies.

While this is currently a proposal, the plan is not immediate. In the months to follow we aim to do as much a possible to mitigate the impact of potential redundancy through redeployment and by working with employers in the local area to identify opportunities.

– Steve Maddock, Managing Director of Claims, Direct Line Group

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Direct Line job losses ‘a savage bolt from the blue’

Plans for around 2,000 job losses at Direct Line to reduce costs have been branded as “a savage bolt from the blue” by the country’s largest union, Unite.

Unite said that it had several hundred members working for the company but no union recognition.

The fact that Unite, the union with the largest number of finance sector workers in the country, has been refused recognition makes it easier for Direct Line to announce these savage cuts out of the blue.

Unite will continue to strongly oppose anti-union bias where it exists in the finance sector and will give all the support we can to our members at Direct Line on an individual basis.

– Unite national officer for finance Dominic Hook
  1. National

Direct Line: Staff at risk will be dealt with 'fairly'

While we continue to invest in the business with the aim of winning in a market which is changing fast, it’s clear that we need to become more efficient to deliver the good service and value our customers expect.

We have not made these proposed changes lightly and understand the impact they will have on our people.

As we have done in the past, we will deal fairly and carefully with those impacted, and do all we can to support them through these changes.”

– Paul Geddes, Chief Executive Officer of Direct Line Group
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