THE state of Wirral Council's finances has been revealed after staff were asked for expressions of interest to leave their jobs in a desperate bid to save cash.

A leaked message believed to have been sent to all local authority employees by chief executive Eric Robinson, describes the "huge pressure" facing its budget.

That's due to reductions in funding from the government and the "rising costs" across all services.

A "series of proposals" will now be put forward for consultation over the coming weeks – despite Mr Robinson describing the authority as making "excellent progress" in creating a "balanced, sustainable and fair budget for the next few years".

The message was sent out on Thursday afternoon, and tells staff: "You are all aware the council continues to face significant financial challenges.

"Ongoing reductions in our grant from Central Government, combined with rising costs of and demand for our services, is putting our budget under huge pressure.

"We are making excellent progress towards producing a balanced, sustainable and fair budget for the next few years and we will be putting a series of proposals forward for consultation in the coming weeks."

It said the council was still looking at "other ways" to raise income or make savings, but added: "To help achieve them, we are inviting expressions of interest from staff to leave the council on voluntary severance or early retirement."

In 2016/17, the council had 3,500 employees not including schools, councillors, consultants and agency staff, and the "opportunity" for staff will be open until November 15.

Mr Robinson added: "As always, we can only let people leave where there is a clear business case for deleting a post, which ensures it does not adversely affect the performance of the service.

"If you've applied before and either been refused or not informed of the final decision, then you will be required to apply again."

The council declined to comment further.

It is a period of transition for Wirral Council at the moment, with leader Cllr Phil Davies having this week announced his intention to step down in May, environment cabinet member Cllr Matthew Patrick having left his role and politics with immediate effect, and Cllr Mike Sullivan having quit the Labour party to become an independent.