Over 70 jobs lost at Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
Over 70 staff have been laid off by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council as part of an Emergency Financial Plan.
The measures, which were agreed at a meeting yesterday (Monday, April 27), will see 73 employees lose their jobs at the local authority.
In a statement issued to the Newtownabbey Times, a council spokesperson said: “Council is experiencing a significant reduction in its income. At the same time, our expenditure has not reduced, which has created an unprecedented financial challenge for the council. As a consequence, it has conducted an urgent review of its finances.
“A review of the council budget for 2020-21 has been completed to ensure that the council remains in a resilient financial position in the future and that we are still able to deliver the services our residents and businesses need.
“We have been looking at ways to bridge the budget gap between income and expenditure as there is no confirmation of any additional funding being provided to councils from Government.
“The UK-wide furlough scheme for staff, is not expected to be used by local authorities unless certain specific situations apply. And in the event that we are eligible, it is likely that this will only cover a small percentage of the current budget gap.”
The spokesperson added: “We need to immediately take action to balance our budget and help secure our long-term future, as the current situation is unsustainable.
“Given our reduced operating requirements, it is proposed to decrease by 73 the number of agency and short service staff, that are not essential to the operations of the council at this time. These proposals are subject to Trade Union consultation.
“We recognise that this will have a significant impact on those directly affected and it is not a decision that the council has taken lightly. However, having exhausted other options, the council believes this urgent action is required to ensure financial stability as it streamlines services within a declining budget while safeguarding our front line services and maintaining future rate rises at an affordable level for residents.”
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