MORE than 300 jobs could be lost at Newport council over the next four years under plans to save £25 million.

Public sector union Unison says the proposals currently under consultation will have a major impact on staff, but said the UK government was the real perpetrator of the crisis.

Newport council has not ruled out compulsory redundancies if other measures such as voluntary redundancy do not meet the cuts needed in staffing.

The authority is currently consulting on more than 100 proposals, which include shutting public toilets and ending the budget for the Newport medieval ship.

Council union rep Steph Davies says there could be 173 potential redundancies through until 2016 – although many may be voluntary – while another 150 posts could be lost between 2015 and 2018.

Some 235 posts could be transferred from Property Services to a new joint venture with a private firm and around 100 staff could be involved in changes in leisure services which could see the establishment of a leisure trust by 2015/16.

Staff are under a 45-day consultation for the proposals.

Ms Davies, Unison branch secretary, said the union regretted Newport council had to consider proposals of “this magnitude” and said Unison will try to ensure all members are treated fairly.

She added: “We should remember that although Newport received the best settlement from the Welsh Government, that the real perpetrators of this crisis are the Con Dem Government in Westminster. They are succeeding in their plan to fracture local services and effectively cut off the vulnerable and needy within our society.”

Newport council said around 350 so-called full-time equivalent posts could be affected by the proposals, while another 350 could see their roles continue but not necessarily be employed by the council.

The authority said the council would offer voluntary redundancy, as well as retraining and redeployment to existing staff, while carefully managing existing vacancies.

“While we always aim to do everything we can to avoid compulsory redundancies, if at the end of this process there is still a budget deficit caused by staff costs, unfortunately compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out,” a spokeswoman said.

The consultation closes at midnight on January 24.

Further public meetings will be held to discuss the budget on January 16 from 12pm to 2pm and 5pm and 7pm at Newport Centre.