800 more jobs to go as council issues budget warning

Wednesday 21 November 2012 Updated: 22/11 11:52

CITY council workers face a bleak Christmas after being told 800 of them could lose their jobs next year.

There was also a warning for residents that frontline services were not longer guaranteed protection from budget cuts.

It comes as council chiefs now estimate the financial black hole has risen from around £14million to £26million.

Eight hundred jobs have been cut by the council over the past two years

Deputy council leader George Duggins said: "It's clear the scale and extent of government spending cuts to the public sector which was already unprecedented will need to be even bigger.

"We're now looking at making some very painful decisions about our services and losing more posts at the council than we originally anticipated.

"Over the past two years we have made more than £30million of savings through our abc programme of reviews of our services.

"These have helped us protect frontline services and continue to protect vulnerable residents. But this approach will no longer be enough to deal with a budget gap projected for next year."

Coun Duggins admitted less would be provided to the people who he said would need to do more for themselves.

There was no indication on whether the council's share of annual Council Tax would increase, but he hinted after a two-year freeze it could rise by the maximum allowed by the government which is around two per cent.

""It's clear that the government's austerity programme will continue to grow until the end of the decade and that we will probably never see a return the kind of service levels we were able to provide under the last government."

Senior councillors will discuss will discuss the pre-budget report at a meeting on December 11 December.

Final decisions, along with council tax rates for the next financial year will be made in February.

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