council survey shows up to 73000 jobs and key budgets at risk over the next year


Public libraries and leisure services are likely to be particularly vulnerable to cuts, with more than a quarter of local authorities planning large scale reductions to these budgets over the next 12 months.

The figures come from a survey of local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales carried out by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and completed by 166 councils.

Up to 73,000 job losses are calculated to be under consideration in England alone as councils prepare their 2011/12 budgets. Of these approximately 30% are likely to be front-line non-managerial posts. The balance are managerial and back office roles.

The survey shows that investment in capital projects such as new schools and leisure facilities is also set to fall decisively, with a fifth of authorities expecting cuts of 50% or more, and nearly half (44%) expecting cuts of between 30-50% or more . 

All areas of council spending are likely to be affected.  Services such as highways, economic development, environmental health, planning, street cleaning, waste and recycling etc face possible cuts of the order of 10-20% in many cases. Adult social care services are also vulnerable to similar levels of cuts.

The survey shows that councils have taken to heart the advice of the government to enter into collaboration initiatives. Almost all councils (96%) intend to enter into a shared service arrangement with another local authority or are already in such an arrangement.  

Steve Freer, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy said:

‘These are not final budget figures. But they illustrate the scale of the significant cuts which councils are contemplating and which will be firmed up as 2011/12 budgets are finalised over the next few weeks.’


CIPFA Press Office
T: 020 7543 5600

Notes to Editors:

CIPFA Chief Executive, Steve Freer is available for interview. For further information please contact the CIPFA Press Office on 078 3309 1303.
The CIPFA survey was sent to all local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland between 15th November and 6th December 2010. A total of 166 replies (40%) were received.


CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services.