1. ITV Report

Up to 1,000 jobs could be cut at Stoke City Council, union claims

Council bosses had said almost 250 jobs would be cut in order to spend money improving children's services. Credit: ITV News Central

The union that represents staff at Stoke City Council has accused the authority of not being upfront about the number of jobs at risk, after plans were announced last week to axe 248 full time jobs.

GMB says a statutory redundancy notice issued by the council states there could be a possible 953 redundancies – including 370 in 'social care, health integration and wellbeing.'

Stoke City Council told ITV News Central tonight (21st of August) that is not correct, saying the number actually refers to the number of people whose jobs could be included in the 248 figure. It blamed a clerical error on some of the confusion and around numbers, saying in a statement:

We have been clear from the outset when budget proposals were announced on 12 August that 840 full time equivalent posts are affected.

What we should have added is that this equates to 953 actual posts.

This is an error in administration. However, it does not change the number of people affected by the proposals.

All of those members of staff were informed at the start of the process.

We know that this is an extremely difficult time for staff and recognise all of their hard work and dedication.

These proposals are to enable us to make the changes we need to meet the demand and give the support to vulnerable children in our city that need our help the most.

– Stoke City Council spokesperson

Earlier this month, council bosses had said almost 250 full time jobs would be cut in order to spend money improving children's services, and had revealed plans to review staffing, including cutting 74 jobs in street care and green spaces, and 70 from social care integration and wellbeing.

The union says the documents call into doubt the council's original claim.

Dave Warwick, GMB Organiser, said:

Stoke Council must stop hiding behind spin and come clean on the extent of these job losses.

This is not a political game – these are people’s livelihoods and they deserve to know the truth.

– Dave Warwick - GMB Organiser

£194 million has been cut from the council's budget over the last eight years.

More than £5.5 million will be cut to pay for the improvements it says will be made to children's services.