The Guardian reports Birmingham City Council, the country's largest local authority, plans to make up to 2,000 workers redundant over the next 12 months. The council employs around 40,000 staff. Areas earmarked for cuts include adult social care, housing, libraries, sports centres, and museums.
The city also intends to freeze pay in an attempt to save around £75million. BBC News quotes Conservative council leader Mike Whitby as saying:
"Quite simply we have to do more for less.
"Birmingham is demonstrating how frontline services and significant regeneration schemes can be delivered without punishing taxpayers.
"I am proud that we are able to do this."
His comments drew a stinging response from Unite union general secretary Dave Prentis:
"This is a massive number of job cuts, and the council cannot be serious. It is absolutely wrong to push local government workers on to the dole queues.
"Birmingham needs its local government workers working, providing the vital services families in the community need to help them recover from the recession.
"These job cuts could force the city into a downward spiral. Shops and businesses will suffer as local people will struggle to afford the essentials.
"We will be seeking urgent meetings with the council, and are calling on them to put a stop to their plans."
Reuters reports the council plans to increase council tax by only 1.9% in 2010/11, thanks in no small part to planned "efficiency savings".
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