A TRADE union says it is disappointed but not surprised that LiveWire staff are facing redundancies.

The community interest company runs leisure facilities in the town, on behalf of the council.

As reported last week, the Warrington Guardian understands the number of redundancies could be in double figures.

LiveWire says it has faced a ‘crippling drop’ in income because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It added that it is working with trade union representatives and will do all it can to minimise the impact on job losses.

Jason Horan, Unison Warrington branch secretary, has reacted to the news.

He said: “Unison is incredibly disappointed, but not surprised, that LiveWire are making vital public service workers redundant.

“We have repeatedly warned Warrington Council that LiveWire is not a satisfactory organisation to provide local leisure services.

“Despite a revenue of £11 million, LiveWire made a loss of over £600,000 last year – LiveWire has made a loss every year since its establishment in 2012 and only its pension assets keep it solvent.

“The company has undertaken nine restructures in eight years and has overseen massive job cuts and reduction of service levels in that time.

“Meanwhile, LiveWire has repeatedly cut terms and conditions for staff who have managed to keep their jobs – LiveWire staff have also suffered a real terms pay cut.”

Mr Horan also said that only last year an external consultant recommended to the council that the local authority should establish a wholly owned company to deliver these important services to the people of Warrington.

He added: “The council’s decision to award a further five-year contract extension in 2020 which will commence in 2022 was a grave mistake – and one which LiveWire staff and local people are still paying the price of.

“The only way to right this wrong in order to save jobs and services in Warrington is to bring this service in-house.

“It’s time for the council to show leadership and end the downward spiral of wages, terms and conditions and job losses.”