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North Tyneside unveils jobs cull

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North Tyneside Council is seeking voluntary redundancies in a move to cut up to 300 jobs.

The north east metropolitan authority, which had earlier revealed a £14m shortfall in its capital budget, has asked for voluntary redundancies from its 7,000-strong workforce, warning “significant savings” need to be made.

In a letter to staff, the council’s chief executive Andrew Kerr said: “Significant savings have to be made now to ensure that going forward we are in shape to cope with difficult times still to come and still deliver high quality, vital services.

“We all need to be clear that if we cannot make savings through the changes we propose, there will have to be further reductions in the overall workforce to offset these.”

Mr Kerr’s letter says the council must make £104m worth savings over the next four and a half years.

A council spokesperson said: “The Council is not immune from what is going on in the economy or in the communities it serves.  As the mayor has indicated, we need to respond to difficult times. We cannot allow our communities to face poorer services and higher costs.  We will ensure we avoid that.

“As the letter to staff makes clear, the changes being made are part of a wider programme of work, which has been ongoing for more than three years and has been inherited by the current mayor.”

A spokeswoman for the union Unison, which represents about 4,000 North Tyneside workers, expressed fears the job cuts could hit council services.

Recently-elected mayor Linda Arkley warned last week that the council was “on the brink of bankruptcy.”

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