Manchester City Council has announced that it has to get rid of around 2,000 jobs to cope with centrally imposed cuts to its budgets, although it said it would try to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies required to make up the figures.

The Labour-controlled council said that it would have to make cuts of 25 percent over the next two years and its staff cull would be the equivalent of losing 17 percent of its workforce. However, the cuts had to be made as soon as possible if the savings of £110m were to be realised in 2011.

Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: “The unfairness of the government’s financial grant settlement for Manchester, one of the five worst in the country, has been widely reported. We now have to find £110m in savings next year –£60m more than expected – because of front-loading and the redistribution of money from Manchester to more affluent areas.”

He went on: “The accelerated cuts mean we can no longer achieve the staffing reductions we have been forced into through natural turnover which is why we are proposing a time-limited offer of voluntary severance and voluntary early retirement.”