Bristol offers voluntary redundancy option to generate savings

Bristol City Council has unveiled a plan which involves offering staff the option to take voluntary redundancy in a bid to generate around £29 million in savings.

It is hoped the move will help reduce the number of full-time roles by an estimated 1,000 to contribute towards closing its remaining budget gap. The cuts are being made as result of a smaller budget and a growing demand on services.

Bristol City Mayor Marvin Rees warned that Bristol needed to find £44 million in savings by next year in order to address a £60 million budget gap.

Rees said: “I have inherited a huge financial challenge which is proving bigger than we knew even a month or two ago. We continue to make savings in many ways, but we cannot close the gap without reducing the number of jobs at the council.

“This scheme is about giving people the option to leave voluntarily, which is the right thing to do. We will support staff as best we can throughout this difficult time.

Responding to the announcement, Steve Crawshaw, Unison branch secretary, said: “This dire financial situation is not the fault of public service workers who’ve had a tough deal for years now. It is a result of a funding deal from the government that has left cities to pick up the pieces from ministers’ lack of a sensible plan.

“Further cuts will hit the most vulnerable in the city, worsening the homelessness crisis, and further entrenching inequality. The Mayor needs to confront Theresa May and say ‘enough is enough.”

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