Redundancies have cost councils £4 billion

New data has revealed that councils in England have spent almost £4 billion making more than 220,000 staff redundant since 2010.

Seen by the Local Government Chronicle (LGC), the stats shows that Birmingham City Council has made the highest number of redundancies in that period. England’s largest local authority has made 8,769, in effect halving its workforce and spending £184.8 million on compensation packages.

In contrast, Manchester City Council carried out nearly 4,000 redundancies at a cost of £75.4 million, followed by Lancashire County Council  with 3,815, costing £89.3 million, Liverpool City Council with 3,621, costing £71.3 million, and Sheffield City Council with 3,616, costing £66.2 million.

The data invariably shows the North West as having lost the most municipal jobs – more than 41,190 – followed by London (34,804) and the West Midlands (33,904). There were eight council job cuts per 1,000 head of population in the North East, six per 1,000 in the North West and West Midlands, and four per 1,000 in Yorkshire and the Humber. London saw four per 1,000 cut whilst the South East and South West seeing three per 1,000 cut.

Reports suggest that the figures are likely to be an underestimate as they only include staff directly employed by councils, not taking into account redundancies made by private companies under outsourcing contracts.

Rob Whiteman, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, said: “This scale of job losses reflects the intense financial pressure on councils as they now have no option other than to provide the bare minimum statutory provisions and are having to reduce spending on more discretionary areas such as libraries, cultural and youth services, which they would all want to provide but no longer have the capacity and funding to do so.”

The figures follow budget cut approvals by Somerset County Council, with the authority detailing a potential job loss for 130 staff posts.

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