1,000 jobs to go as councils face more cutbacks

TWO Yorkshire councils have drawn up plans to cut about 1,000 jobs in a further round of spending cuts.

Bradford Council is looking to reduce the number of posts by 696 over the next two years and neighbouring Kirklees Council expects to shed 300 posts next year.

Council leaders in Bradford have drawn up budget proposals that could see the closure of seven children’s centres, a £3m cut to youth services and the loss of mobile library services.

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The Labour-run council is also proposing to increase its council tax by 1.6 per cent. Cutting 696 jobs over two years would save £21m.

In Kirklees, the Labour-run authority is proposing to save £67m a year until 2016-17 by cutting about 300 jobs, reducing the highways maintenance budget and handing over the upkeep of public toilets to local groups.

Plans are also afoot to charge residents for car parking permits and increase the council tax by 2 per cent.

Kirklees Council leader Mehboob Khan said it was hoped that the job losses could be managed through natural staff turnover.

Coun Khan said Northern councils were being hit hard by reductions in grants from national government.

“If we were treated the same as Surrey Heath – Michael Gove’s local council – we would, by now, have made all of the cuts from our efficiency programme and we would have £5m cash spare to invest in services and we would not need a council tax rise.”

Councillor Simon Cooke, the deputy leader of the Conservative group on Bradford Council, said proposed cuts to mobile library services would hit rural residents.

He claimed there were “still too many chiefs and not enough Indians” at the authority and said that the proposed Council Tax rise across Bradford was not necessary.

Coun Cooke said it was time for Yorkshire councils to share “back office” services such payroll and human resources.

Meanwhile, the Labour-run York Council is looking to cut £8.8m.