CALLS are growing for the Government to stump up cash as Bolton Council faces its biggest and “most devastating cuts”.

The council has to make nearly £40m worth of savings in just one year.

The financial crisis has been exacerbated by the Covid crisis and unions have come out saying they will be fighting the cuts.

The Bolton News reported yesterday that more than 200 posts could be axed, meaning redundancies having to be made, under the controversial proposals.

Town hall chiefs have promised to lobby the Government for more cash to cover the ongoing costs of the pandemic.

Andrea Egan, Unison’s Bolton-branch secretary said: “During a global crisis, key workers have worked through this pandemic and put themselves in arms reach of this virus.

“Council staff have continued to work through this crisis, no council worker was furloughed, they have either worked their main job role or been redeployed to the humanitarian services to support the most vulnerable.

"It’s devastating enough to know that you might lose your job through what can only be described as brutal cuts, but to learn that some of the budget pressures are also linked to Covid costs, so another crisis not of their making will once again be paid for by workers in way of their jobs terms and conditions.

"It is a national disgrace and I expect our local politicians to lobby this government for adequate funding to provide local services, and keep our workers in work so they in turn use their local pound to spend in our local economy.”

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh said: “Nobody would ever want to be in a position where they would ever have to deliver these level of savings, and whichever party was in power, these savings would legally have to be delivered.

“£22m of savings was deferred to this coming year and that is before we even start to think about addressing the pressures as a result of the pandemic.

“Nobody wants to see job losses, nobody wants to see reduction in services, but we have to be fiscally responsible, and we have a statutory responsibility to produce a legal budget, and the reality is next year, unless we make these savings, we will be spending £37m more than we are getting in.

"We urge all parties to genuinely work together on this and work with us.

"So many of these savings we would rather not do, and if groups or individuals come up with viable costed alternatives, we will genuinely look at those options and not be afraid to change if more palatable.”

Formal consultation is set to take place with staff, councillors and unions.