Anger after care staff asked about redundancy

A COUNCIL has written to its home care assistants asking if they would consider either voluntary redundancy, early retirement or a reduction in hours.

Leeds City Council is bracing itself for swingeing cuts when Government Ministers reveal the outcome of a comprehensive spending review this autumn.

Many council staff fear they could lose their jobs as the city's home care system comes under the spotlight.

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One care worker, who has done the job for 17 years, said: "We're all really angry. The home care service has a lot of longstanding staff.

"People commit themselves to it because they love it – they certainly don't do it for the money because it's lousy.

"We've looked after some people for years and it's them who will suffer. It's a crying shame."

Councils up and down the country are preparing for impending cuts of up to 25 per cent in Government funding.

Tom Riordan, the new chief executive of the authority has said the central challenge was to chart a course which could reduce the council's costs while improving frontline services.

"We have got to look at how we can provide a much more integrated service on the front line," he said earlier this month.

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said: "We have written to all of our community support assistants inviting them to tell us if they would be interested in taking voluntary early retirement, voluntary severance or reducing their hours.

"This is just to assess the level of interest and is the first step in us looking at how we reshape the service to make sure it delivers what people need in the future."