ONE of Huntingdon's largest employers, Anglian Water, has announced that it is to shed 40 jobs, saying it needs to reduce costs to cope with the prolonged recession and cut customers' bills. The firm, which has its head office in the town, has said 86 jobs are at risk, but 46 new jobs could also be created as part of a restructuring process. Staff in the communications department, legal department, human resources, IT, health and safety and regulation have been put at risk. Engineers at Anglian Water in Peterborough have also been told there are likely to be job losses, although the majority of jobs at risk are in Huntingdon. A spokesman for Anglian Water said consultations with staff had begun. In the majority of cases this would be a 30-day process and employees would know their fate by Christmas. Staff who are to be made redundant would be able to continue to work for Anglian Water until March of next year, the firm said. While a spokesman admitted that the timing of the announcements was not ideal, it was a necessary step to take the company forward. However, the GMB union, which represents some of the workers at Anglian Water, believes the timing will allow Anglian Water to pass some of the blame for the cuts onto the regulator, Ofwat. The company denies that, saying the move was in part driven by the need to streamline activities after disposal of non-core subsidiaries. But the recession had also played a large part in the decision.