Birmingham City Council announces hundreds of job redundancies

Employees have not been told have many will be made redundant or when cuts will begin  (PA Wire)
Employees have not been told have many will be made redundant or when cuts will begin (PA Wire)

Birmingham City Council is set to axe up to 600 posts in a wave of mass redundancies.

An email was sent to the authority’s employees on Tuesday telling them of the plans, and a formal consultation with trade unions is to be held over the proposals.

No decision has yet been made on how many posts may be declared redundant or when the cuts will begin, according to the council.

This comes as Europe’s largest local authority revealed it could not balance its books and issued a section 114 notice on September 5, effectively declaring bankruptcy.

The council blamed £760m of equal pay claims, the expenses of a new IT system, and years of funding cuts by successive Tory governments for its financial woes.

The section 114 means any new council spending in the city, with the exception of protecting vulnerable people and statutory services, must stop immediately.

Services that have faced budget cuts include street cleaning, parks and maintenance, leisure, children’s services that are not social care, libraries and the frequency of bins collections.

The Labour-run authority said it does not have sufficient resources to cover the potential liability and has also identified a budget shortfall for the current financial year of £87 million, which is projected to rise to £165 million in 2024/25.

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More West Mids stories - click above

This prompted Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Secretary of State Michael Gove to announce he was minded to intervene and send in commissioners to oversee the council.

A council spokesman said: “We anticipate that (subject to consultation) up to 600 posts may be declared redundant across the council.”

He added: “We understand that this news will be unsettling, and I want to reassure you that we are here to support you through this process.

“We will now start formal consultation with our corporate trade union representatives and follow these with directorate collective consultation meetings.

“These consultation meetings with trade unions will continue to take place regularly.”

The council spokesman said the possible 600 figure is in addition to posts “that have been deleted through organisational redesign that were already vacant” and “nor does it include vacancies”.