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Council workforce rises despite cuts
DORSET councils have slashed their workforces new figures reveal – except in Weymouth and Portland which has seen an increase in staff numbers.
Dorset County Council saw a drop in its workforce of 449 between the first quarter of 2010 and the third quarter of 2012, a reduction of -2.5 per cent.
It is the lowest reduction compared with the main unitary authorities in the South West.
West Dorset District Council lost 155 workers over the same period.
However, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council made a gain of 164 employees.
The figures were released by the GMB union, which represents public sector workers, using data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) supplied by councils.
The figures include the schools’ workforce.
The GMB has used the information to show how numbers employed by South West councils are down by 52,400 since the coalition came into office in 2010.
The union says the cuts have been a ‘disaster’ for communities and for workers losing their jobs.
Cornwall’s council suffered the biggest losses with a reduction of more than 9,800 workers.
The union says budget cuts have led to job losses through redundancies, frozen vacancies and natural wastage.
Reductions could also be attributable to movement between public and private sectors, such as when schools become academies, and colleges are reclassified.
Director of Corporate Services at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and West Dorset District Council Adrian Stuart said: “Weymouth and Portland and West Dorset figures have to be viewed as one total, with Weymouth and Portland having recently become the lead employer for the partnership. Collectively the two councils have reduced the number of employees by around 70 jobs over the last two years, and are planning to remove another 30 jobs over the next 18 months.
“These will largely come from management and back office functions, in order to protect front line services to the public.”
Mr Stuart added: “Additionally the closure of Weymouth Pavilion, and other planned budget reductions in Weymouth and Portland, will reduce the workforce by a further 25 during 2013.
“Most of these reductions are still going through proper staff consultation processes, and are therefore not reflected in the figures.
“There is also the seasonal adjustment to take into account and the additional temporary staff employed during the Olympic and Paralympic period.”