4,137 staff leave Plymouth City Council since 2010
THE number of staff employed by Plymouth City Council has fallen by a third since the 2010 General Election, new figures show.
There are 4,137 fewer council employees than there were in April 2010, just before the coalition Government took power, according to an analysis of official figures by the GMB union.
The number is equivalent to a fall of 32.7per cent.
A council spokeswoman said the main factor was that 13 schools have gained academy status and their employees are no longer classed as council staff.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"Other reasons for the decrease include natural turnover, some staff transferring to other organisations and new ways of working," she said.
"Due to the Government's spending review we have needed to make significant budget savings.
"In 2011 we announced we were reducing our workforce by 500 posts over three years.
"Streamlining our terms and conditions, not filling empty posts and restructuring departments have all contributed.
"We have minimised compulsory redundancies where ever possible through a voluntary release scheme and redeployment."
The fall in the number of employees in Cornwall Council is the highest for a local authority in the South West. Between the first quarter of 2010 and the third quarter of 2012 the fall in the number of employees in the council is 9,838, or 39.4per cent.
Next is Devon, where the number of employees is down by 8,542.
The South West has seen the biggest change in the country, with 24.6per cent of council staff losing their jobs or coming under the control of other agencies.
London, at 10.6per cent, has the lowest proportion in England.
A Cornwall Council spokeswoman said: "There have not been 9,838 job losses in since the General Election.
"In the first year of the new council, 2009, there were around 260 redundancies.
"There have been a further 600 non-schools redundancies from 2010 onwards. This means there have been around 850 non-schools redundancies since the creation of the new council. Approximately a third of these have been compulsory."
She said that about 3,000 people had transferred from the council with the creation of arms-length companies such as Cormac Solutions Ltd.
About 50 schools have converted to academy status and their employees no longer work for the council, accounting for a significant part in the reduction.
The rest of the reduction comes from natural wastage.
Devon County Council leader John Hart said: "Every time the GMB issues this press release we have to say these are not generally jobs lost to the economy.
"A large proportion of the reduction is due to a combination of structural reform which has led to staff being transferred to external agencies, such as Babcock Education, and the impact of schools transferring to academy status.
"Natural wastage and our jobs freeze – under which only front-line vacancies were filled – has resulted in the council reducing its workforce by more than 2,700 posts without having to make large-scale redundancies."