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500 more jobs to go at Sandwell Council

The boss of Sandwell Council has said the authority has no choice but to make further job cuts in the wake of crippling budget cuts.


The authority is looking at making 500 job cuts over the next four years – 100 more than was initially expected.

Leader Councillor Darren Cooper has said the impact of Government budget cuts will 'catastrophic' for local people. The council must save £100 million by 2017.

The further job cuts would bring the total amount of staff to leave the council up to 2,500 since the cuts began in 2010.

Earlier this year it was reported that 400 more jobs could be at risk, but Councillor Cooper has said the figure is likely to be much higher.

He said: "I suspect another 500 jobs in the next three years will go from the council and that will mean by the end of 2016/17 we will have lost 2,500 jobs.

"We are not getting much support from the Government.

"What we are trying to do is create jobs in the other areas, like New Square and encourage businesses to come into the borough to create jobs and wealth so that some of those people can find jobs and employment in other fields.

"It is an increasingly difficult situation and fortunately we have a good grip of the budget, we are not bankrupt and Sandwell will probably be one of the last council's to ever go bankrupt, but the impact this is having on local people is catastrophic."

The council was initially faced with making cuts of £75m by 2015. However, after the Chancellor's Autumn Statement last year, it was revealed the authority would need to make cuts of £100m by 2017 – a further £25m.

Residents face increased costs for services, or they face being scrapped completely.

Councillor Cooper said by supporting new development, such as the £200m New Square scheme in West Bromwich that it was hoped more new jobs would be available to local people.

New Square opened its doors to shoppers last month and is expected to create around 1,200 jobs.

The development is anchored by a huge Tesco Extra. The co-anchor Primark store will open next month.

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