Birmingham budget cuts leading to "significant workforce reduction"
Birmingham Chief Executive Stephen Hughes is warning of a significant reduction in Council jobs following a decision to "frontload" budget savings targeted for the next four years.
In a letter to all 26,000 non schools staff released today, Hughes says the overall savings target is "a bit lower" than the £330 million previously announced, but he says that half of the cuts will be made in the first year, 2011/2012.
"I cannot pretend that this is anything but difficult and painful," Hughes says. "The proposals in their entirety will require a significant reduction in the workforce by a combination of natural wastage, early retirement and voluntary redundancy, transfer to other organisation structures and, as a last resort, by compulsory redundancy."
There were two days of budget meetings recently involving Cabinet, Scrutiny Chairmen, Regulatory Committee Chairmen and Senior Officers of the Council. Hughes says decisions were made on the way services need to be restructured following the Comprehensive Spending Review announcement by Chancellor George Osborne last month.
"Members....understand and support the need for Birmingham City Council to do its part in helping to reduce the financial deficit that the country has to deal with, and the importance of doing that to secure the financial stability and future growth of the UK," Hughes says.
Hughes promises that widespread and detailed consultation on the proposals, with all Councillors, staff, unions, suppliers, and the general public will begin next week.