STAFF canteens at Blaenau Gwent council will be scrapped, affecting almost 700 employees.

The council intends to close its three staff canteens because of financial pressures.

Canteens at the Civic Centre in Ebbw Vale, Central Depot in Brynmawr and the Business Resource Centre in Tredegar will close from as early as November.

The canteens, which are not subsidised, are run by the council and cater for a total of 677 members of staff.

The council has 11 people currently working in the canteens and said it would “do its utmost” to redeploy them within the school catering service.

A council report on the plans said catering for civic functions, buffets and a refreshment service of tea and coffee will be provided externally but that the contract would include a clause for reliable food sources to be used because of the risk of E.coli.

The report states that the reason for the planned closure is because “the financial burden on the education portfolio cannot be sustained in the long term”.

The staff canteens are part of the council’s catering service, which falls into the education portfolio.

A spokeswoman for the council said none of its school canteens are affected by the plans.

The decision to scrap the staff canteens was made by the council’s executive committee, but a further report will now be put to senior managers to deal with any extra details.

The Argus asked Blaenau Gwent council about the “financial burden” and how much the staff canteens cost but it would not provide the information.

A spokeswoman said it could not because it is “commercially sensitive”.