Job losses expected at North Norfolk

Several redundancies are expected at North Norfolk District Council within a month as budget cuts take their toll.

After a consultation process with staff ended last week employees have been warned that some positions will be changed and others lost entirely.

Workers will now be consulted individually and as many as five redundancies could be announced in four weeks time.

The move has sparked warnings that council services will be affected by the losses.

Chief executive Philip Burton could not confirm the exact number of jobs at risk, or name which departments they were based in.

'We are going to lose jobs because of this,' he said.

'What we've got to do now is go through a one-to-one consultation with every member of staff.

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'There will be four of five jobs where we're going to be having those discussions.

'Some jobs are changing but they will still be there.

'It's not as straightforward as saying we're knocking out five jobs or six. It's quite a complex process,' he added.

The council has said in the past that it expects to lose around a dozen jobs during this year because of budget constraints, and it is expected that this round of redundancies marks the start of that process.

An announcement on the exact details of the losses is expected in three to four weeks.

Phil Godwin, chairman of the north Norfolk branch of Unison and an employee of north Norfolk District Council, said the cuts would inevitably have an impact on people in north Norfolk.

'There's no doubt about it, there will be an effect on services,' he said.

'When it comes down to it these are people's lives that are being affected.

'We appreciate these are difficult times. We know what's going on in the world.

'But before any decisions are made they need to be very carefully thought through.'

But councillor Penny Bevan Jones reassured that whatever form the cuts take, no front-line services would be affected.

'We're keeping all out front line services,' she said.

'We're not walking away from those responsibilities but we will be doing differently.'