Thousands of council jobs lost

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NEW figures have revealed that thousands of jobs have been lost at councils in the Hartlepool Mail area.

Local Government Authority (LGA) figures show 401 positions at Hartlepool Borough Council – not including teachers – were axed in the last 18 months, which is 10.5 per cent of the workforce.

It has been claimed the number of staff has gone from 3,826 to 3,425.

The figures also show 1,869 positions were wiped out at Durham County Council, cutting the workforce by 10.2 per cent, while Stockton Borough Council saw a five per cent cut in its employment, with 320 workers given the boot.

The LGA says a total of 101,094 jobs have been lost and not refilled since the General Election in May last year, adding to the country’s unemployment.

At the end of the first quarter of 2010 there were a total of 1,584,219 full-time equivalent employees working in local government in the non-teacher workforce.

At the end of the second quarter of 2011 this figure had dropped by 6.4 per cent to 1,483,124 full time equivalent employees.

Brian Strutton, GMB national secretary, warned that there was still more to come.

He added: “Council workers and their families are paying a terrible price for the Government’s austerity drive.

“These job losses are on top of two years of pay freezes and cuts to conditions and pensions. “Care workers, refuse collectors, street cleaners, social workers and all the essential front-line council staff are bearing the brunt while those at the top wring their hands and look on.”