EASTBOURNE is set to lose up to 2,000 public sector jobs and its economy could lose almost one tenth of its value by 2015, according to a recent council report.
Thirty-eight per cent of Eastbourne’s workforce are in public administration, education and health - coming 20th out of the 380 district councils in the UK for its dependence on public sector employment. The South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) forecast up to 2.4 per cent of Eastbourne’s total workforce will lose their jobs and the economy will shrink by up to 9.5 per cent in the next four years.
East Sussex County Council is already making redundancies across the county.
A spokesperson for SEEDA said, “Eastbourne is likely to be an area worst affected due to its coastal position, high share of public sector employment and high unemployment figures.”
The Economy Snapshot of Eastbourne, which was read at newly-formed economic group Enterprising Eastbourne’s launch event in Grove Road on October 28, said 29 per cent of households suffer from poverty, with Devonshire, Hampden Park, Langney, Upperton and St Anthony’s wards with greater poverty still.
Conversely employment levels have risen by 3.3 per cent and 132 fewer people are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance than at this time last year.
Stephen Lloyd MP said, “One of the main reasons I was so determined after the general election to set up the MP’s Commission was to focus on the economic transformation of our town.
“I knew we were going to be in for a difficult time and clearly since then with the comprehensive spending review and the necessary cut backs to deal with our country’s enormous deficit this is proving to be the case.
“However, the representatives from within Eastbourne has been outstanding, as your readers well know, only in the last week two major retail stores have already announced they will be opening in Eastbourne and anticipate recruiting 200 in staff.
“And the local Borough Council, because of the efforts it has made in the last year or so, indicates that the level of redundancies will be negligible.”
But the report suggests the private sector will suffer job losses as an indirect result of public sector cuts.
Mr Lloyd added, “I am not going to let the shoulders drop and we are not only going to get through successfully , I am determined the town will be very, very well placed when we come through.”