Road de­lay helped coun­cil to

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

A DE­LAY to a Wi­gan road project helped coun­cil lead­ers stump up the cash to re­solve an NHS work­ers’ dispute, the town hall has re­vealed.

Wi­gan coun­cil in­ter­vened last week with staff at Wright­ing­ton, Wi­gan and Leigh Foun­da­tion Trust (WWL) tak­ing strike ac­tion over plans to out­source 900 jobs.

The town hall brokered a deal – un­der­stood to be around £2m – that sat­is­fied both the trust’s man­age­ment and the Uni­son trade union.

The sides had been locked in a row over pro­pos­als to trans­fer cater­ing, clean­ing and porter roles to a new arms-length com­pany WWL Solutions.

It has now been re­vealed that the cash-strapped lo­cal au­thor­ity – which by 2020 will have had its bud­get cut by £160m over 10 years – found the funds from its cap­i­tal pro­gramme, aided by the A49 link road project be­ing ‘pushed back’.

Works on the road link scheme have started this year, al­though the orig­i­nal ten­der­ing process con­cluded in 2015.

As a re­sult of the hold-up, fi­nance chiefs have now fac­tored a pro­por­tion of the out­lay into up­com­ing bud­gets, leav­ing pre­vi­ously ear­marked funds avail­able.

Coun David Molyneux, leader of

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