MORE than 1,600 public sector jobs are under threat in Dorset, with more to come, the latest round-up by trade union GMB has revealed.

The public services union says spending cuts in local authorities, the NHS, and other public bodies including universities and government departments mean at least 226,472 posts are currently at risk in England, Wales and Scotland.

General secretary Paul Kenny said: “These figures on the number of public sector jobs no longer available to be filled are even more shocking than the figures GMB has been tracking at local councils.

Unemployment at all levels is not just a social ill, it is an economic disaster. Putting people on the economic scrap heap is not a price worth paying, as we found out during the Thatcher years.”

The union said 90 days of statutory consultation was underway in most of the councils and other public bodies affected by the job losses.

Most local authorities had given notice that they plan to delete vacant posts and seek volunteers for early retirement and redundancy.

Regional figures for 318 out of 407 local councils in England, Scotland and Wales show that 170,582 jobs are under threat, including 12,146 in the south west.

Nationally, at least a further 49,682 posts in the NHS and 6,208 in other public bodies are set to disappear, although the GMB is still awaiting information from many other organisations.

The union’s figures for threatened public sector job losses in Dorset include 1,000 at the county council, 200 at Poole Council, 29 at Dorset Police, 40 at West Dorset District Council, 10 at NHS Bournemouth and Poole, 230 at Dorset County Hospital and 150 at Poole Hospital.

Hampshire County council is set to lose 1,200 staff, Hampshire Police 1,400, Southampton University Hospitals Trust 509, New Forest District Council 40 and Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust 361.