Leeds Council cuts 816 jobs amid £119m shortfall

Leeds Council

Leeds City Counci said a report presented to its executive board on Wednesday set out more savings proposals for the financial year 2021-22 in “an attempt to address the significant impact of coronavirus and ongoing reductions in funding.”

The council said the total anticipated reduction in its workforce now stands at 816 full time posts.

The report detailed actions under way to address the council’s financial gap for 2021-22 which is currently estimated at £118.8 million.

“Of this figure £59.7m is due to pressures identified prior to the impact of coronavirus with the balance of £59.1m resulting from the ongoing financial impact of COVID-19,” said the council.

“The report comes on top of savings proposals put forward in September and October …

“A further £17.6m of potential savings were presented for consideration with an anticipated reduction in the workforce of 199 full time posts.

“The total anticipated reduction in the workforce now stands at 816 full time posts, but the council is doing all it can to avoid compulsory redundancies.

“Further proposals regarding the reorganisation of services and facilities were also presented.

“All proposals will be subject to a full consultation with staff, trade unions and stakeholders and through designated public consultations as appropriate.”

Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake said: “The impact of coronavirus combined with national reductions to local government budgets over the last decade has been of a scale nobody could have predicted.

“There is no doubt that without further national funding there is a major risk to the services and facilities the council offers to the people of Leeds.  

“We will make every effort to protect frontline services and we will do everything possible to not make compulsory redundancies.

“However, some incredibly tough decisions now need to be taken because of the impact of the pandemic following a decade of austerity.

“We continue to engage and speak with government regarding this issue and we are pressing the case on behalf of the people of Leeds.

“If the government listens and supports the council with more funding then the financial gap in next year’s budget will become smaller and the impact on council services will reduce.”