PUBLIC SECT0R: RSPCA's regional press office hit by cost-cutting plan

The RSPCA has been forced into a series of cost-cutting measures, including the halving of its regional press office, after stock market losses of more than £15m.

Five of the charity's tenstrong regional press team roles are to be axed but a spokeswoman said a decision on which staff will lose their jobs has yet to be made.

She added that no further job cuts in the central PR team were expected.

In a statement the charity revealed that 'following stock market falls after 11 September the society has lost £8.8m in 2001 and a further £7m this year'.

The statement adds that the cost cutting measures have been taken to 'make sure that vital animal welfare services are protected'. The RSPCA governing council wants expenditure cut by £6m in 2003.

Other cuts include shelving all capital projects for 12 months and a reduction in all department budgets.

A further review of finances will take place in December.

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