Walsall Council is to axe 164 jobs in cutbacks

More than 160 posts – more than initially expected – are being axed at a Black Country council under budgets cuts.

A total of 164 positions will be scrapped at Walsall Council.

Fifty nine are already vacant. Of the remaining 105 positions, 70 workers have already agreed to voluntary redundancy, while the future of the other 35 will be decided over the coming months.

Bosses said they will either be redeployed or face being made redundant. The cash-strapped authority needs to save more than £13 million over the next 12 months.

It was initially expected 88 posts would need to go in the initial budget proposals.

Finance and personnel boss Councillor Chris Towe said: "I have said many, many times I don't want to see people lose their jobs. Some posts are vacant which we are not able to fill, which is unfortunate.

"Seventy people have chosen to take voluntary redundancy which have been accepted and will now proceed which leaves us 35 posts which will go into the redeployment pool. If they are unable to meet the criteria, will be unfortunately made redundant." In the 2013-14 financial year, around £627m will be spent on more than 700 services for 250,000 residents – a drop of £13.9m compared with this year.

Council tax is rising by 1.85 per cent, with council bosses insisting it will generate £1.6m to help those who need it most.

Public toilets are closing, market rents increasing and garden waste collections will also be suspended for three months a year.

However, plans to increase the price of school meals were scrapped and the level of cuts to parks and green spaces reduced following a consultation period.

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