Spending Review: Doncaster Council redundancies
- 20 October 2010
- From the section Sheffield & South Yorkshire
Doncaster Council has announced plans for 800 redundancies within the next five months as it seeks to make £80m in budget cuts over four years.
The authority said it would ask staff to put themselves forward for voluntary redundancy from next week.
The posts would go by the end of March 2011, the authority said.
The Unison union, which represents some of the workers, described the move as "devastating" and warned compulsory redundancies could spark strike action.
The job cuts were revealed by the council in a statement released after Chancellor George Osborne's Spending Review.
Its chief executive Rob Vincent said: "The scale of the budget reductions facing Doncaster and the public sector are significant - we have no option but to look at new ways of operating and making savings through staffing reductions."
He added: "Making staff redundant is never an easy decision and we recognise that there is a lot of uncertainty for our employees."
The council is also reviewing senior management positions. It plans to reduce its number of directors from six to four and cut some assistant directors' posts.
Jim Board, branch secretary of the Doncaster branch of Unison, which represents about 500 council employees, said the union feared the announcement was "just the start" of the cost-cutting measures.
"The impact, in terms of taking employees out of the system, will be devastating," he added.
"We will not accept compulsory redundancies, we will ballot for strike action."
'Angry and anxious'
Mr Board said employees who had contacted him were "massively angry and very anxious".
Mr Vincent was appointed by the government to run the authority earlier this year, after the Audit Commission found it was "failing".
Changes to the way services operate are also being proposed. Some will be combined in one department, such as the creation of a combined highways and transport service.
The council plans to reduce the number of managers in its neighbourhood services and create a borough wide grounds maintenance and street cleaning service.
The proposals also include "rationalising" the services provided by museums, galleries, theatres and other arts services and reducing the number of school children attending pupil referral units (PRUs) which deal with excluded pupils.
The council has been criticised over the deaths of seven children and failures which allowed two boys to be tortured in Edlington.
A Doncaster Council spokeswoman said the authority employed about 7,200 people.