1000 jobs face axe

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UP to 1,000 Wigan Council workers could have lost their jobs in 12 months’ time.

That was the grim admission from authority chiefs today who say that 696 workers may have been added to the 300 already gone amid another round of savage cuts.

And with further belt-tightening between 2012 and 2014 expected, there is nothing to say that further employees won’t be shown the door before the four-year budget reduction plan is out.

The announcement shows that last year’s town hall prediction that 820 staff would be cut over a three-year period was, far from being a worst case scenario, sadly conservative.

And the angry chief of a union, with whom the authority is now in intensive talks, today said he thought that strike action would now be “inevitable.”

The stark fact though is that, due to cuts in central funding, the authority has to reduce its budget by 28 per cent over the next four years.

And while there are hopes that some of the 696 jobs might be saved, for instance if a private company took over a service currently being run or subsidised by the council, if they all go then Wigan’s biggest employer will have lost 15 per cent of its workforce in the space of 24 months.