UP TO 350 council jobs are under threat as the local authority looks to make £22m of savings.
South Tyneside Council has made the announcement as officials look to begin formal discussions with the trade unions.
However, while the council say up to 350 jobs could be lost the final figure will not be known until later in the budgeting process.
The council is now informing the government of the number of jobs that could be affected and is in the process of submitting a HR1 form to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to enable consultations to take place with staff and trade unions over any potential redundancies.
The £22m of savings is in addition to over £100m that it has saved over the past four years.
Coun Ed Malcolm, lead member for resources and innovation said: “Let me start off by emphasising that we will do everything we can do to reduce the 350 figure and wherever possible avoid compulsory redundancies. We appreciate this is a tough time for our staff and we will work with them and the Trade Unions to lessen the impact wherever we can.
“The HR1 form is a legal requirement and a formal process we must undertake. Our estimate is that up to 350 council jobs could be affected in the budget-setting process and we have now informed the Government of that figure.
“We are still working on our budget for next year and we do not relish having to put a figure on the potential number of jobs that might be affected relatively early in our budget planning process. As everyone knows we continue to be subjected to unprecedented Government cuts and are doing all we can to minimise the impact on frontline services.
“We are not yet in a position to confirm a definite number, as this is obviously dependent on the decisions made by Councillors around the budget.”