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'Nightmare' situation prompts more job losses at Darlington Council
MORE than 50 Darlington Council workers are facing redundancy in a new wave of council cuts.
The authority has begun consultation on the potential loss of approximately 57 jobs as part of an ongoing cost-cutting process that council leader Bill Dixon described as “a nightmare”.
Around 400 council jobs have already gone over the past three years as the authority attempts to make £17m worth of savings by 2016/17, on top of the £24m already saved in the last two years.
Coun Dixon said the continued loss of central government funding was threatening the very future of councils and that the situation has worsened since he first described the council as going through “its darkest days” back in 2010.
“If it continues like this you have got to question the future of local government,” he said.
“We can’t keep sustaining these kind of hits; this is the cost in very real human terms.”
He added: “It is inevitable that this will affect what we do and how we do it.
“You can’t take this many posts out over a period of time and expect it to be business as usual.”
Ada Burns, chief executive of Darlington Council, said: “The reduction in Government grant is such that every single service the council provides will need to be reviewed, inevitably, this will lead to job losses.
“Whilst we will try and avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible; the scale of the funding cuts means that this may not be possible.”
Among those facing the axe is popular markets manager Peter Wilson who has worked in his role for 40 years and played a vital role in securing the future of the award-winning Darlington Sunday People’s Market Speaking after the announcement he said: “Not everybody lasts forever and things have to move on.
“I am confident the markets are going to continue without me, they are too important not to - you can’t come to Darlington without seeing the markets.
“You often go to retirement dos and people say ‘I won’t miss the work, but I will miss the people,’ but I will miss all aspects of the job, the work and the people.”