Redundancies at Portsmouth council

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VOLUNTARY redundancy packages offered by Portsmouth City Council have been taken up by 185 employees.

It comes as a union has said services are suffering.

Justin Bowden from the union GMB has criticised the move, saying: ‘Councils are now making cuts to services they offer the general public like bin collections.’

City council leader Councillor Donna Jones said the strong response to the VR scheme would offset more than 100 job cuts that have to made due to the government’s austerity programme.

Cllr Jones said: ‘I am pleased to announce that most of the 100-plus jobs will be accounted for in that figure.

‘Councils are being forced to cut their spending to set a balanced budget. This inevitably means a reduction in staff numbers as this is the biggest cost for a council.’

Cllr Jones said VR was offered between September and December last year.