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Staff looking to leave Dudley Council tops 1,100

Dudley | News | Published:

More than 1,100 staff at Dudley Council have applied for voluntary redundancy, it has emerged. And new figures show the authority could have to shell out up to £6 million for them to go.

More than 1,100 staff at Dudley Council have applied for voluntary redundancy, it has emerged. And new figures show the authority could have to shell out up to £6 million for them to go.

The council has been accepting applications for voluntary redundancy as part of a bid to make £22 million of savings between April this year and March 2012.

More than 400 posts are set to go over the coming months and a total of 800 over the next three years. New figures revealed today show there had been a total of 1,128 requests for voluntary redundancy by February 2.

However 535 have been turned down on that basis the council can't lose the posts.

Some 325 requests have been deemed "acceptable" and are currently being progressed with the workers concerned while 268 will undergo further consideration before council bosses decide whether they can lose the positions.

Bosses say in a number of departments too many volunteers have come forward which has led to "selection pools" being established to determine who is most suitable to go.

A report to go before the council's cabinet tomorrow also says it is likely that some compulsory redundancies will still be required. Dudley Council spokesman Chris Howes said: " We are unable to put a cost on redundancies at this stage but we have built in an allowance into our budget to borrow up to £6 million to cover any eventual costs."

A decision on successful applications will be made by March 31 while any further compulsory redundancies will be announced by May 31.

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Staff have also been asked to reduce their working hours in a bid to reduce the number of job losses.

Almost £2.5m of staffing cuts will come from departments such as planning, transport and culture and leisure services.

Meanwhile Staffordshire County Council is planning to shed up to 500 jobs as it grapples with Government cuts. Bosses have pledged to avoid compulsory redundancies "wherever possible". Sandwell Council has said that a total of 800 jobs could be at risk next year due to budget cuts.

South Staffordshire Council launched a voluntary redundancy scheme late last year to prepare for budget cuts of more than £2.5 million over the next three years.

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Earlier this month, it emerged that dozens more jobs at Wolverhampton City Council are under threat as bosses are still £15m short of the cuts they have to make by the end of March.

Council chiefs in Walsall are cutting more than 400 posts as they battle to save £65 million over three years.

It emerged last month that only 165 workers applied to voluntarily leave the authority. In total the council is axing 421 jobs — 187 of which are already vacant.

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