Tenth of workforce axed

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WIGAN Council has lost nearly 11 per cent of its work force in the past two years according to figures released by a leading trade union.

The GMB say 1,337 jobs (10.9 per cent) have been shed by the authority since the first quarter of 2010 - the 11th highest figure in the North West.

The union says the number of workers employed by local authorities in the North West has fallen from 305,600 in the first quarter 2010 to 271,300 in the first quarter 2012. This is a drop of 34,300 or 11.2 per cent of all those employed by local authorities in the region. This is the fourth highest percentage drop for any region in England and Wales.

The information is from a new analysis by GMB, the union for public sector workers, of the latest quarterly public sector employment survey from the Office of National Statistics.

Paul McCarthy, GMB Regional Secretary, said: “What lies behind these statistics is the cold hard fact that this government has destroyed 34,300 local authority jobs in the North West.

“In the UK as a whole 424,000 jobs have been lost in the public sector of which a total of 236,900 have been lost in local councils in England and Wales.

“These cuts have created unemployment, denied job opportunities to young people and cut services as the bankers continue to rip away with their bonuses and their fiddles and Cameron’s mates carry on tax dodging to show who is really paying the price for austerity in Tory-Liberal Britain.

“The government’s role is to deliver an economy which grows employment and living standards. Perhaps someone should take a note around to Number 11 Downing Street to explain this to the Chancellor.

“The government said it was making these cuts to bring down the deficit.

“But all the economic data confirms that the economy is going nowhere and that there has been no reduction in the deficit. The current economic strategy is a complete shambles and is in tatters.”