Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry council plans to cut 150 social care jobs

About 150 community care jobs could be cut if Coventry City Council plans to save £5m are agreed next year.

It is expected 100 of the job losses would be from care workers who provide support for elderly people.

The service, currently run by the Labour-led authority, would instead be privatised, which Unite has warned could reduce pay.

The council has blamed government cuts and promised to "protect the most vulnerable".

It comes as the government announced councils in England will face cuts on average spending-power of 2.9% next year.

Councillor Alison Gingell, Coventry City Council's Cabinet Member for Heath and Adult Services, said: "We don't want to do this.

"If I thought people were going to die because of what we're doing here I would resign right now."

Redundancy requests

She said the proposals would maintain services "to people in the categories of critical and substantial need".

Coventry City Council's Community Services department, which includes adult social care, plans to save £22.5m over the next three years.

Cllr Gingell said, of the 150 posts to go, about 45 people had already requested early retirement or voluntary redundancy.

It is hoped the other positions would be advertised by agencies, who could take on the care work no longer provided by the council.

"The jobs won't disappear from the city, they just won't be city council jobs," Cllr Gingell added.

The council said the posts are mainly occupied by female part-time workers.

Alan Lewis, from Unite, said he believed the private sector would "pay less for the same job".

Image caption The Aylesford Intermediate Care Centre will be funded for a further six months

At the same time, support services provided by groups like Age UK and the Alzheimer's Society will have their council funding reduced.

Pauline Dye from the Coventry Carers' Centre said because of the cuts other carers will be "expected to do a lot more".

A three-month consultation on the plan was held between August and November and, as a result, the council said the Aylesford Intermediate Care Centre in Hillfields is to be funded for at least another six months.

In August the council said the care centre, which provides assistance for elderly people who have been in hospital, was earmarked for closure.

The decision on whether to approve the plan to save £5m from adult social care services will be made by councillors in January.

It is one of six proposals that, if adopted, will come into effect from April 2014 to save a predicted £10m.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites