100 jobs facing the axe in bid to save council cash

Portsmouth Civic Offices
Portsmouth Civic Offices
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UP to 100 jobs could be lost at Portsmouth City Council as part of next year’s budget cuts.

The News understands that would be the maximum number of posts axed across the authority’s services as it seeks to claw back savings.

While a portion of the jobs are already vacant, at least 100 more could go as central government continues to reduce grants it provides.

It is believed those who face redundancy out of the workforce of 4,000 will be told to leave by April.

Regional industrial organiser for Unite union Ian Woodland, which represents workers, said: ‘We’re very concerned about that.

‘It’s a worrying time. We’re very concerned about the cuts and a lot that we don’t see are necessary.

‘Portsmouth residents desire a service and we want that service kept up and we want to make sure that people who work for the council are earning good money and in good jobs.’

The news comes after the former Lib Dem leader of the council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, claimed a culture of fear had developed in the authority and employees were fearful of their future.

The council faces a drop of £37m in government funding in the next three years.

As reported, council chief executive David Williams, says it will do what it can to mitigate the need for job losses by redeploying staff, not filling current vacancies and providing support and training.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said the new Tory administration has refused to give him details of what is being proposed.

‘For any family, having someone lose their job is very difficult,’ he said.

‘Everybody has to make sure the council’s funds are secure and run properly.

‘But I’ve not been allowed to see the details of the budget yet. I understand the instruction has come from Cllr Donna Jones not to give them to me.’

Cllr Jones said the majority of posts were empty but admitted an ‘overhaul’ was being made of services.

‘We are doing a complete overhaul of the needs of the council,’ she said.

‘We are seeing what the strategic needs of the council are.’

Union officials will be consulted over the best deal for affected workers.

A budget consultation with the public is under way over what services should be kept, cut back or axed altogether.