Bristol Mayor George Ferguson talks to Ian Axton about the latest round of cuts
A thousand people could lose their jobs at Bristol City Council over the next three years. The authority says it needs to bridge a £90million funding gap.
One union leader says it'll have a devastating economic impact.
Our political correspondent Bob Constantine reports.
When the Mayor was elected last year, he promised that he would get a better deal for Bristol from this Coalition Government, but now Bristol seems to be in exactly the same position as other local authorities – perhaps even worse off. Instead of trips abroad, the Mayor needs to be banging on the door of Number 10, alongside Council Leaders of every political persuasion, saying that local government cannot cope with this level of further cuts.
Council staff who face losing their jobs are people who work every day, delivering support to the most vulnerable people, as well as city-wide services. Residents will see a difference in those services - some of which, and for some people, are ones that they absolutely rely on, but may end up being lost all together.
– Councillor Helen Holland, Leader of Labour Group
Meanwhile, the level of uncertainly for residents, communities, voluntary sector groups, as well as for these 800 staff, in the run up to Christmas, continues, and the Council which once prided itself on being the largest employer in the city, adds hundreds more people to the city’s unemployment figures.”
Bristol City Council has announced that up to 800 jobs could go over the next three years.
It's part of efforts to bridge a £90 million funding gap following government budget cuts of around 25%.
The council says although it will have "no choice" but to reduce it's number of jobs, compulsory redundancies will be a last resort.
I think everyone knows we are facing some incredibly difficult financial decisions as a result of the severe national cutbacks to local government. For many years Bristol has been relatively fortunate in being able to find savings while providing a lot of services, but now we’re having to do what many cities have already done by looking at a larger scale of change which will inevitably mean fewer jobs at the council. This is not a pleasant process, but one which will hopefully leave us in a more realistic state to serve the city and its citizens, which is our primary purpose.
– George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol
I will do all I can to limit the impact on people’s lives, both in terms of the public and our staff. Compulsory redundancies will be the last resort, but I fear they will be necessary when there is simply no other option.