Wiltshire Council's jobs cut consultation begins

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A consultation has begun over plans to shed 340 full-time posts at Wiltshire Council this year.

The authority has announced plans for a "council-wide voluntary redundancy programme" but said applications would depend on the council's needs.

Trade union Unison said frontline staff will be "squeezed" as their workloads will increase.

The Conservative-run council said it needs to save at least £4m in staffing costs in its 2013-14 budget.

Unison's regional secretary Joanne Kaye, said: "The problem is you get people, like your frontline social worker for example, who are essentially doing their own administration - whereas previously someone lower paid might be doing typing or printing administration for them.

"Now they're doing that themselves rather than deal with people and trying to make sure they've got accurate records - it all falls on the frontline person to do that."

The voluntary redundancy plan was approved in the February cabinet meeting.

There are currently 3,889 staff at Wiltshire Council and up to 400 staff could be affected.

Over the past three years, the council has made 640 redundancies, saving £23m from staffing costs.

The informal stage of the voluntary redundancy programme will run until June 17.

After this, the formal programme will run for six weeks, with a final deadline for applications set for July 26, with some exceptions to certain teams.

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