Opposition leader: ‘County job cuts are a grave threat to our economy’

NOTTS County Council says it has delivered on a promise to ‘streamline systems and bureaucracy’ - cutting its total workforce by 2,492 posts in the last three years.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 2nd October 2012, 1:52 pm

The authority was due to submit a report to the Personnel Committee on Wednesday this week highlighting a range of data on its workforce between August 2009-2012.

The report shows an overall 20 per cent reduction in the number of people employed by the county council frrom 12,431 to 9,939, as well as 581 posts being deleted as part of the authority’s workforce reduction programme.

It also states that eight of out 10 people who left the council did so as part of the voluntary redundancy scheme, and that 45 per cent of people seeking redeployment were successful.

Leader of the Labour opposition Coun Alan Rhodes criticised the latest figures and said investment in jobs was necessary to keep the economy moving.

He also said that the claim employees voluntarily left the jobs was ‘misleading’.

“Cutting spending now will reverse the recovery and will spell financial misery for many families in Worksop,” he said.

“The council has lost a large proportion of highly-experienced staff - experience that will take years to get back.”

He added: “Council cuts mean more unemployment, more misery and job losses in the private sector.”

“The Conservatives have been irresponsible in the sheer scale of the job cuts and they are a bitter blow to communities like Worksop and its economy.”

Personnel committee chairman Coun Andy Stewart defended the figures and said the approach has helped ‘hard-pressed’ taxpayers by keeping Council tax frozen for an unprecedented three years in a row.

“Our costs have been trimmed by removing layers of management and our ongoing review of the way we provide services and the number of staff that are required,” he said.

“I’m reassured that the changes to our workforce are helping us to deliver a more value for money approach to the way we work, whilst still offering help and support to the most vulnerable in our community, illustrated by this year’s significant £36 million reinvestment in services for older people, children and people with learning and mental health needs.”

A copy of the report is available to download at http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/dms/Meetings.aspx