It’s been a holiday of jitters for 22 staff

more than 20 workers spent the festive season fearing for their jobs after council bosses warned them about potential redundancies just days before Christmas.

Staff at Heath Training and Development Centre, Halifax, were sent letters dated December 20 telling them up between 15 and 19 posts could be lost in August.

It is one option Calderdale Council’s Children and Young People’s Service is considering in a bid to save cash.

Sue McMahon, Calderdale secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said the timing was appalling.

“This is not until August 31 and the staff get this letter two days before Christmas,” she said.

“What is alarming is that in the letter to staff it says one of the reasons they are doing this is in view of budgetary demands.

“This is before the budget is decided in Februrary and there has been no consultation with the unions.

“What is this to pay for? Is this to pay for the deficit in care services? If so, making staff redundant won’t solve anything.”

Plans to sell off the Free School Lane centre, used for training and conferences, were agreed at a cabinet meeting on October 31.

The move would help fund the controversial proposals for the regeneration of Halifax town centre.

The possible job losses are part of proposals which will change the way Calderdale Council provides services to schools.

It is anticipated they could eventually save up to £2million.

A council spokeswoman said: “Calderdale Council’s Children and Young People’s Service is experiencing ongoing demand and expenditure in excess of the available budget. Therefore, the council is looking at ways of providing services more cost effectively.

“On December 19, Cabinet approved a formal consultation process to discuss proposals for service delivery to address this.

“Staff potentially affected by any proposed changes to services were notified of the consultation as soon as possible, both in person and by letter.”