It’s official – 300 council jobs go

COUNCIL leaders have agreed the final changes to their draft budget which could eventually mean at least 300 jobs disappearing from the payroll.

Liberal Democrat Janet Battye said she anticipated about 150 compulsory redundancies this year and 50 in 2012-3 which is much less than in many other councils.

Another 100 unfilled posts with Calderdale Council will be deleted and dozens more workers should find out in the next few days whether they will be allowed to take voluntary early retirement.

The draft budget which is expected to be confirmed at a special meeting on February 28 will mean the council spending £65 million less over the next three years.

There will be no increase in council tax bills in April but a 2 per cent rise is on the cards for next year.

Trades unions have urged the council to avoid any compulsory redundancies and to introduce voluntary redundancy packages.

Councillor Battye (Calder) said: “I deplore the spending cuts that we are having to make in Calderdale as a result of Labour’s deficit.

“We recognise that local government must play its part in sorting out this mess but too much is being asked of local councils.”

She said accused the council’s former Conservative administration of “very poor housekeeping” and said they had let young people down by allowing children’s services to deteriorate.

Tim Swift (Lab, Town), the council’s deputy leader said further talks with staff were planned to try to minimise the redundancy threat.

Northern councils will be affected most by government cuts, according to Charles Gate, of Calderdale Green Party.

He has urged Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to explain why the Government’s austerity package should hit the north of England hardest when he visits Halifax next month.