DORSET, Poole and Bournemouth councils have made hundreds of staff redundant as they attempt to cope with savage Government cuts, new figures show.

A total of 295 staff left Dorset County Council in 2011/12, 2012/13 and the first half of 2013/14, while 119 jobs were lost at Bournemouth and 94 at Poole.

The biggest exodus at Dorset was in 2011/12 when 138 members of staff took voluntary redundancy – including 61 from the council’s environment department and 51 from children’s services.

Adult social care has taken a big hit in Bournemouth, losing 40 members of staff between 2011/12 and the end of October 2013/14. This includes 20 compulsory redundancies in 2011/12 and a further 16 in 2012/13.

In Poole, the total includes 25 redundancies in the culture and community department – most of which have been voluntary.

David Higgins, Bournemouth council’s Unison representative, said: “Instead of introducing redundancies all at once, which would inevitably get bad headlines, we have witnessed a constant drip of small numbers of staff going.

“And redundancies do not reveal the whole picture.

“There have also been posts deleted and vacancies left unfilled which has greatly reduced the number of people working for local councils.

“That puts remaining staff under greater pressure and this is at a time when people need the council’s help more than ever.”