Council under fire for ‘savage’ job cuts as 200 posts made redundant

ANOTHER round of job cuts has been announced at Notts County Council which will see more than 200 posts made redundant.

Notices were issued to affected staff last week in roles across the county, including here in Worksop.

A total of 218 full time equivalent posts are currently in consultation, but the authority was keen to stress that almost half of these are already vacant positions.

“A 90 day consultation is now underway with trade unions and employees to identify opportunities to reduce the number of potential redundancies through vacancy control and redeployment,” said council chief executive Mick Burrows.

Mr Burrows said it was part of the council’s ongoing ‘budget reprioritisation’ to reinvest money in services experiencing extra demand.

Since 2009 Notts County Council has cut its workforce by 20 per cent - equivalent to 2,492.

Eight out of 10 people who have left since then chose voluntary redundancy, and almost a quarter of the deleted posts were already vacant.

The latest round of redundancies will affect employees in various roles across the authority, including eight youth support workers and six play service workers. In human resources 51 positions are under threat. And 12 roles in ICT are to go.

A spokesman for the council was keen to stress that reports of teaching assistant posts being among those under consultation were inaccurate.

But the cuts have come under attack from union officials and councillors.

Notts UNISON branch secretary Martin Sleath said they were ‘savage and unnecessary’.

“They are all about political motivation and will hurt both vulnerable people and the local economy, while Conservative councillors cry crocodile tears,” he said.

“The council has lost 20 per cent of its directly employed staff since 2009 and is still pretending that this will have no effect on services.”

Coun Alan Rhodes, leader of the Labour opposition at the council, said:

“Amongst those jobs going include youth workers and care workers, they are quite clearly attacking frontline services once again.”

“This news in the same week that the Conservatives gave away £900,000 to Notts County Cricket Club for a new score board. They clearly have their priorities wrong.”

“The phrase ‘we are all in this together’ has never been more offensive.”