Bolton Council to cut hundreds of jobs

Image caption, The council is planning "efficiency savings" of 30 - 40% in the next five years.

A local authority in Greater Manchester has announced it plans to cut up to 500 jobs in order to reduce its budget by £50m.

Bolton Council, which employs about 12,000 people, said it was anticipating a "significant" reduction in the grants it received from central government.

The coalition recently outlined plans to slash £6.25bn in spending.

A council spokeswoman said it would be seeking volunteers for early retirement and redundancy.

She said the authority was planning "efficiency savings" of between 30% and 40% over the next five years.

Schemes and projects funded from specific grants will be reviewed and capital projects which have not yet started will be put on hold, she added.

Unions fear that every public service in the town will be affected by the budget, which will be discussed by councillors on Monday.

Andrea Egan, Unison representative at the council, said: "We've seen outsourcing in the past.

"We've seen outsourcing through the building schools for future programme, [other] services going out to private companies - and we believe those services should be delivered by public sector workers.

"So it will be devastating to our services and to the council. I don't believe there is any slack."

Chief executive Sean Harris said spending on vulnerable children and adults was likely to be protected, but everything else faced review.

"We're retrying to make sure that we get ahead of the game," he told the BBC.

"We illustrated in our budget this year that our anticipation was that we are going to have to make reductions of about 10%.

"We are looking across the whole of the council at all services and making sure that we don't leave any stone unturned in terms of where we can make savings or efficiencies."

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