Council denies 800 redundancies on way

Photo: Ambernectar13 on Flickr

800 council jobs are to be slashed in Hackney according to new trade union estimates but Hackney Council has dismissed the claim as “speculation”.

The GMB union has warned that 800 Hackney Council jobs are at risk, after looking at the number of notices sent to council employees telling them they may be made redundant.

But a spokesman for Hackney Council said the GMB figure was pure speculation and one they did not recognise.

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, who carried out the research said: “The government is deliberately creating unemployment on a scale that we have not seen before. In the current circumstances it is hard to see the private sector creating enough new jobs to make up for these job losses.”

The Hackney representative for public sector union Unison, Matthew Waterfall, said: “The cuts will be made to 800 posts; that does not mean 800 people will be made redundant. However, I should stress that many people will still lose their job even if it is not the full 800.”

Mr Waterfall also said that cuts will be made to youth support services, with the number of youth workers dropping from 181 to 86.

He warned that this decision could have far-reaching consequences: “These are important services, especially with the amount of youth crime. The effects of these cuts will not be felt immediately but will start to manifest themselves in the form of higher youth crime and anti-social behaviour over the next few years as young people in Hackney have less services to support them.”

Disputing the figure released by GMB, a spokesman for the council said there have been over 300 voluntary redundancies, and this would reduce of the number of compulsory redundancies needed.

Hackney councillors will discuss the redundancies at a council meeting on Wednesday  night.

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