Council jobs go as funding cuts bite

MORE than 170 jobs are to be axed at Hull Council as part of a cost-cutting drive.

The Labour-led authority ended months of speculation yesterday by confirming that 171 posts would be lost among “back office” staff over the next 15 months.

The announcement nonetheless drew criticism from opposition Liberal Democrat councillors, who claimed Labour had reneged on a pledge not to make redundancies, while also questioning the cost of the overhaul in the “organisation support review”.

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Consultants Deloitte have been brought in to oversee the reforms, and could be paid £1.2m for doing so, the critics said.

Coun Abigail Bell, Liberal Democrat group leader, said: “It is bad enough Labour U-turned on their earlier promises not to make redundancies, but to call it another name and pretend it’s something else is shocking.”

The council, which is adjusting to huge funding cuts from central government, plans to save £5.7m a year until 2014, and said it was protecting frontline jobs.