More than 20 City of York Council staff could be made redundant as the authority’s income is hit by the pandemic.
Council chief Ian Floyd says the organisation has an £8 million funding gap.
He said the council is consulting with trade unions and staff affected by plans to cut jobs, which could lead to “20 or more redundancies over a 90 day period”.
The local democracy reporter asked what departments could be affected by the redundancies and if frontline workers’ jobs are at risk, but the council did not say.
Ian Floyd, chief operating officer at City of York Council, said: “We are currently collectively consulting with our trade union colleagues and those staff affected on a number of proposals and as such have made the appropriate notifications as these proposals could result in 20 or more redundancies over a 90 day period.
“Given the potential implications of these proposals, it would not be appropriate to cause undue concern by speculating.
“However, as always, we will be strictly following the required policy and procedures for restructuring within the organisation, and this will ensure that we adhere to all necessary employment legislation.”
£8 million savings
Government figures published last week show York council is among a minority not facing a shortfall in council tax income amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government figures show that the council is one of 51 councils that has avoided the ‘financial hole’ caused by a drastic national fall in anticipated council tax income.
But income from a number of sources including car parking charges and fees for services such as licences, marriage documents and weddings has fallen, the council has said.
York council budget papers published in February proposed more than £1.4 million in savings linked to staffing reductions, reviews and efficiencies in the next two years.
A budget meeting heard the council had already put strict recruitment controls in place, including choosing not to fill some vacancies, in order to minimise the impact.
The council is looking to make £8 million of savings as a result of the extra costs and drop in income caused by the pandemic.
Mr Floyd said: “Over the last year demand for council services has increased, and at the same time, income has significantly fallen as a result of the pandemic.
“Whilst the government has provided some financial support, it doesn’t not go far enough to cover the gap caused by falling income and increasing costs, meaning the council faces a significant budget gap.
“Recognising the current economic challenges and support needed for local residents, the council is increasing its total spending by £2.6 million on adult social care and support for children and young people, whilst investing additional resources to protect frontline services and to accelerate the city’s economic recovery.
“To help cover this funding gap, we are working with managers to see how we can achieve £8m of savings.”
Opposition Labour group councillor Claire Douglas said: “The Tory government’s funding of councils is wholly inadequate to plug the gap left by costs associated with the pandemic and is totally unacceptable.
“The outcome for our council is significant job cuts, something no one wants to see.
“Lost jobs severely damage the livelihoods of families in our city and further erodes the services provided by the council.
“I’m particularly worried that the council’s ability to provide adequate levels of service and support to our city’s most vulnerable children and adults will be impacted.
“We now have to wait to see where the council’s Liberal Democrat/Green administration choose to make the job cuts. We already know how much the council’s children’s and adult’s services are under pressure. Staff cuts in these areas must simply be avoided.”