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BIRMINGHAM SOCIAL SERVICES JOBS FREEZE IS OVER

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Birmingham City Council has lifted the threat to a social services jobs freeze, following a public outcry, reported...
Birmingham City Council has lifted the threat to a social services jobs freeze, following a public outcry, reported The Birmingham Post (10 Dec, p3).

Ian McArdle, chairman of the social services committee, announced the move last week to a group of protestors.

He said: 'We will be lifting the jobs freeze on social service workers with immediate effect. We will do everything we can to support day centres and ensure service users receive the services they require.'

He said he did not expect any further job freezes during the financial year, but the announcement was met with scepticism by members of Unison.

Caroline Johnson, the union's adult services convenor, said: 'We have heard new staff won't be in place until April next year, so we are holding back until we receive confirmation of the plans in writing.'

At a committee meeting last week, Richard Evans, Birmingham's social services director, said: 'The jobs freeze was necessary because if we had continued as we were there would have been a£3m overspend. But due to the action taken a 'balanced budget' position is now achievable.'

'Demands on social services are infinite while we only have a finite amount of money in our budget.'

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