Council warns of huge job cutbacks

Thousands of jobs could be lost at a Black Country council, its leader warned today.

Thousands of jobs could be lost at a Black Country council, its leader warned today.

Up to half of Walsall Council's 10,150-strong workforce could be made redundant over the next five years if government cuts continue.

The authority is trying to make £11.2 million of savings over the next year.

Tory council leader Councillor Mike Bird said: "It's quite horrendous to think of the levels of cuts we would have to make. We can't keep cutting services that we are required to give by law, we would have to do them with fewer people."

The warning is the most dramatic example of the effects cuts are having on councils across the West Midlands.

Birmingham City Council is looking at up to 2,000 job cuts as part of a bid to save £69m.

And Wolverhampton City Council is axing 183 jobs with a voluntary redundancy scheme open until the end of March.

Across England up to 25,000 jobs in councils are at risk over the next three to five years.

Council finance chiefs throughout the region are preparing for the loss of up to three per cent of their grants from central government.

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