MORE than 400 Wirral council workers have asked to leave voluntarily as the authority tries to make savings of £27 million, but compulsory redundancies are still on the table.
The first group of workers are preparing to leave the council next week following the announcement of 500 job cuts in June.
Around 10% of the authority’s workforce is to be shed – between 400 and 500 posts – with around 419 having applied to leave voluntarily.
However, council chief executive Graham Burgess said that while they are doing all they can to allow people to leave voluntarily, not all of those who have requested redundancy will be allowed to leave.
Mr Burgess told the Globe: “We have had around 419 people apply for voluntary redundancy but we can’t let all of them go as a number of them are essential and would need to be replaced which wouldn’t save the council any money.
“We are making every effort we can to let people leave voluntarily and that is where we are now.”
The first of three groups has been told they can leave while a further group is set to go during September and October.
A final group is expected to leave in December or January as the council continues to restructure its services.
“Wirral is in no different position to any other northern area. We are facing the same level of cuts and we have lost 57% of our income over five years.”
The Labour-run council is currently looking at how services are delivered and funded through its Future Council project
It is not the first time large scale jobs cuts have been made by the authority.
More than 1,000 jobs were shed in 2010-11 as part of cost-cutting measures made by the then Conservative and Lib Dem coalition.
And last year saw protests take place outside Wallasey town hall following plans by Labour to slash between 500 and 700 jobs.
Despite 10% of the workforce currently being cut, Mr Burgess told the Globe he was unable to rule out further job losses as the council prepares to consult on next year’s budget savings.
He said: “We can’t tell yet what the outcome will be but it could further impact on jobs and more posts could go in 2015/16.”