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Council job losses loom - report

Thursday December 8th 2011

Continued tightening of the purse strings by central government will result in further compulsory redundancies in local councils, a report claims.

Over the past year the number of people working in England's 353 councils has fallen 145,000 to 1.6 million, which is still the country's largest workforce.

However, the report by the Audit Commission and Local Government Association says that figure is expected to further drop.

Not including police, firefighters and teachers, the number of workers employed by local councils hit a high of 1.063 million full-time posts in 2007, but has since dwindled to 932,800 this year.

The report says that between 2004/05 and 2009/10, the overall council pay bill increased by 22%. However it has fallen in real terms by 5.6% to stand at £30 billion, with warnings of further declines.

Councils need to "strike a balance" between job losses and reorganisation, according to the Work in Progress report. Moves could include the sharing of backroom staff between councils, or the thinning of management in order to maintain frontline staffing numbers.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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