A large number of staff aged 50 or over have been made redundant as part of council cost-cutting measures.

Figures obtained by The Argus show that the majority of local authority workers made redundant in the last two years across Sussex are 50 or older.

Campaigners have criticised the redundancies and say that it will harm the level of service councils provide.

More than three quarters of West Sussex County Council’s redundant workers were aged over 50 in 2009 and 2010.

In East Sussex staff over 50 made up 60% of redundancies.

Brighton and Hove City Council bucked the trend with only five out of 16 staff made redundant being aged over 50 in 18 months from the start of 2009.

A spokesman for West Sussex County Council said the majority of redundancies were voluntary and not compulsory.

He added: "There is no age discrimination at West Sussex County Council.

"The council still has staff with a wealth of experience and knowledge to continue striving to improve services against a very difficult financial background."

An East Sussex County Council spokeswoman said: “Our policies and procedures in this area have all had an Equality Impact Assessment to ensure there's no discrimination on any grounds when selecting for redundancy and this approach is supported by the local trades unions.”