Wales

Merthyr Tydfil council leaders warn of 100 job cuts

Merthyr Tydfil council civic centre Image copyright Google
Image caption The council is facing a budget gap of £8m this year, and £15m up to 2023

As many as 100 council staff in Merthyr Tydfil could lose their jobs in a bid to save money.

The county borough's leaders have warned some redundancies could be compulsory as it faces an £8m budget gap next year and a £15m shortfall up to 2023.

Trade unions will be consulted over ways of minimising the impact of cuts, but teachers will not be affected.

A special full council meeting was held on Wednesday to discuss the situation.

A report to councillors blamed uncertainty over Brexit, future funding and growing demand for core council services, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Councillors were being asked by the ruling independent group to approve the sending of a section 188 letter to unions to kickstart the process.

Consultation would then take place over the following 45 days with unions and the employees affected before the first dismissals can take place.

Volunteers for redundancy would be sought in an effort to keep the number of compulsory redundancies to a minimum or avoid the need for them altogether.

In October, council leaders dropped or deferred some elements of a £2m package of cuts and savings.

Proposals shelved included plans to increase car park charges and bulk waste collection fees, to consult on switching off street lights, to reduce security at Cyfarthfa Park, and to cut £12,000 from the additional learning needs training budget.

In June, the Welsh Government announced it was sending in a troubleshooter to help tackle a breakdown in relations between Merthyr's ruling group, opposition and top officials.

Council leader Kevin O'Neill and acting chief executive Ellis Cooper are also to be given coaching as part of efforts to turn the troubled authority around.

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