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This morning Asda revealed that it is to being consultation with its employees as it plans a massive restructuring of its business which could put 5,000 jobs at risk, including 3,000 support jobs. The proposed cuts would include in areas such as cash management, where there is less work as more people have been increasingly shopping online for groceries. The company aims to focus more on its online retail and delivery services which have become heavily used during the pandemic. Asda has increasingly come under pressure from smaller lo-cost supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl, both of whom are fast becoming a major source of competition. The companies more traditional rivals like Tesco and Sainsburys are having similar problems as more and more people look to cut the cost of their weekly shop. Lidl is opening two new stores in Salford soon, one on the site of the old Mocha Parade in Lower Broughton and the second at Castle Irwell. The company opened a new store in Winton not too long ago. The smaller supermarkets were never really considered a threat but with the nations finances under pressure, so are they. Overall there has been a huge shift to online shopping as people have been forced to social distance but some have cited the current plans by Asda to be a step in the wrong direction as when the country reopens and the pandemic is a footnote in history, they predict people will return to the shops and traditional ways to shop. If the shops and services are not there then they will simply go to the ones which are. Both Lidl and Aldi have seen a boom in shopping in recent months and have even gone so far as to give staff wage increases and bonuses to reflect their increased profits. Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said:
Salford Council and City Mayor Paul Dennett will present its budget proposals for consideration during Wednesdays Full Council Meeting (Weds 24th Feb) and decisions will be made on increasing council tax by 1.99% and the adult social care precept by 2% after a challenging year. Since 2010/11 Salford has seen a staggering £222 million stripped from the cities budget due to savage cuts which have had huge impacts on the city and the local services it provides. Impacts which the council has tried hard to limit as best it can. The added burden of the Covid-19 Pandemic has not been kind and it is expected that it will continue to affect the councils budget for at least a further three years, adding more misery and uncertainty to an increasingly painful future. In order to achieve a balanced budget position for 2021/22 the council had to address a £10.9m funding gap. This gap has been driven by the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and changes that have affected funding streams such as the New Homes Bonus. The gap is to be covered by a combination of previously approved savings, use of non-recurring funds and reserves. Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: Councillor Bill Hinds, Lead Member for Finance and Support Services said: The Online meeting will be live steamed from 9:30am tomorrow morning (Weds 24th Feb) via the following link: https://salford.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/545921