5 April 2002

Axe for MLC jobs

A FUNDING shortfall has forced the Meat and Livestock Commission to shed 26 jobs and consider moving out of its current offices in Milton Keynes.

The commission has embarked on a restructuring programme following a £7m drop in levy income during 2001/02 because of foot-and-mouth disease.

In 2000/01, the organisation collected £32m in levy but in 2001/02 this dropped to £25m.

Out of the 26 jobs, seven were not filled so the number of employees made redundant is 19. Thirteen of these were from the marketing department.

Gwyn Howells, director general of the MLC, said the jobs would be cut by farming out some of its work on education and health issues.

Educational material will now be distributed by Farming and Countryside Education which was formed by a merger between the NFUs and RASEs education departments.

Specialist agencies will be employed to make sure the MLCs message is communicated to health professionals.

A spokesman said the organisation had been left with little choice to make the cuts because there was just not enough money to pay for the jobs.