Unions hit out at Hackney job losses

Union bosses have hit out at job losses in Hackney as they encourage residents to take a stand against public spending cuts this week.

Ninety-five posts in youth services will go and a further 17 parks jobs will be lost as the town hall tries to slash �44million from next year’s budget, according to public sector union Unison.

Activists fear that crime will spiral out of control as young people are left with less support following the withdrawal of �17million national funding for Team Hackney.

And they warn that Hackney’s green spaces will be poorly maintained, less safe and dirtier if 19 per cent of parks jobs go as predicted.

Matthew Waterfall, secretary of Hackney Unison, said: “These cuts will hit young people hard and in a borough like Hackney with high unemployment and high levels of deprivation we should be doing more not less to provide young people with the support they need. The council has pledged to protect front line services but is at the same time cutting them back.”

Both Hackney Unison and Unite are calling on residents to join a demonstration at Hackney Town Hall in Mare Street on Wednesday (March 2) where councillors will be deciding on the annual budget.

Hackney Council has disputed the campaigners’ calculation that 52 per cent of youth services jobs will go.

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A spokesman said a restructure would see money spent on young people and youth clubs rather than top down management, and that no youth clubs in Hackney would close.

“While there will be a reduction in staff numbers, the number of permanent posts in Young Hackney is about the same as the number of posts currently occupied by permanent employees,” he said.

The Gazette has asked the council for confirmation of the number of redundancies expected in youth services and parks but is yet to receive a response.