Threat to jobs and services

THE long-awaited comprehensive spending review will be delivered with the jobs of thousands of council staff throughout Yorkshire under threat.

Barnsley Council has already announced huge cuts to its workforce of nearly 1,500 jobs, unions have claimed that 1,000 staff have been notified at Bradford City Council their posts are under threat and major changes have already been announced at Kirklees, Wakefield, Doncaster, Sheffield and Leeds.

The savings local authorities will have to make over the coming years are enormous – Hull and Doncaster councils have said they will need to save around 80m; North Yorkshire County Council is faced with making 43m in cuts over the next four years and Barnsley has confirmed they have to save 40m in four years.

Unions have warned front-line services will suffer but there are some glimmers of hope.

Last month local authorities were given the green light to borrow tens of millions of pounds to fund major regeneration schemes across Yorkshire.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's announcement could allow councils around Leeds to borrow up to 250m for a major regeneration scheme in the Aire Valley. The policy could also finance a big regeneration project in South Yorkshire.