Hundreds of jobs set to be cut at Birmingham City Council

Up to 600 posts could be axed at Birmingham City Council in a wave of redundancies.

No decision has yet been made on how many posts “may be declared redundant across the council” or when the cuts will begin, according to a spokesman for the authority which last year effectively declared bankruptcy.

A formal consultation with trade unions is to be held over the proposals.

An email was sent to workers at the authority on Tuesday, telling them of the plans.

A council spokesman said: “We anticipate that (subject to consultation) up to 600 posts may be declared redundant across the council.”

Birmingham City Council inquiry
People walk through Chamberlain Square by Birmingham Town Hall (Jacob King/PA)

He added: “We understand that this news will be unsettling, and I want to reassure you that we are here to support you through this process.

“We will now start formal consultation with our corporate trade union representatives and follow these with directorate collective consultation meetings.

“These consultation meetings with trade unions will continue to take place regularly.”

It comes after the largest local authority in Europe revealed that it could not balance its books and issued a section 114 notice on September 5, effectively declaring bankruptcy.

This prompted Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Secretary of State Michael Gove to announce he was minded to intervene and send in commissioners to oversee the council after it declared itself in financial distress.

The section 114 means any new council spending in the city, with the exception of protecting vulnerable people and statutory services, must stop immediately.

It came as the council admitted it had an estimated £760 million equal pay liability.

The authority said it does not have sufficient resources to cover the potential liability and has also identified a budget shortfall for the current financial year of £87 million, which is projected to rise to £165 million in 2024/25.

The council spokesman said the possible 600 figure is in addition to posts “that have been deleted through organisational redesign that were already vacant” and “nor does it include vacancies”.