Sneaked in to the last Cabinet Meeting before the mayoral election was a paper harmlessly entitled ‘Change Board 6 Monthly Monitoring Report’, which just happened to drop in the fact that the council needs to make another £12.9m of CUTS by next April.
The paper meanders over twelve pages, explaining that £33m ‘savings’ have been made and another £18m are in the pipeline before dropping in that “the majority of THE REMAINING £12.9M SAVINGS ARE YET TO BE FORMALLY IDENTIFIED”! It then drifts on to explain that further cuts of £75.3m will be required 2017 – 2020.
But how exactly are these ‘savings’ of £12.9m over the next year going to be made? The main report itself forgets to say. However, on the very last page of the report under the final heading ‘HUMAN RESOURCES IMPLICATIONS’, it says:
“The progress set out in this paper is in line with the Section 188 notice issued in November 2013 … At that time it was estimated that there would be a potential reduction of 971 employees during the three financial years covered bythe MTFS … The organisation restructure that took place during the 2014/15 financial year resulted in workforce reductions of 523 FTE.
“Where further workforce reductions are required we will seek to reach agreement with the recognised Trade Unions on how to mitigate the need to make any further compulsory redundancies.”
No doubt, ENTIRELY COINCIDENTALLY, if you multiply the remaining redundancies available under this three year old notice (448) by an average wage cost at the council (£30,000) you come up with a figure not unadjacent to £12.9m!
With the mayoral election now really taking off, it will be interesting to see how many of the candidates will be committing to these LUDICROUS REDUNDANCIES and how many won’t. It’ll also be interesting to find out how any candidate rejecting these redundancies intends to make these cuts.
Staff at the council, meanwhile, are FLABBERGASTED that their bosses are proposing more redundancies. “The whole place is already overworked, understaffed and in meltdown, “ a worker told The BRISTOLIAN.
“If you want evidence just try phoning us up or accessing any service. It’s an ABSOLUTE FARCE, the public are simply ignored these days as a distraction.
“There’s no staff left to do anything already. Workloads are huge and unmanageable. More staffing cuts are impossible to make. Any incoming mayor who tries more cuts risks CRITICAL DAMAGE to already overstretched services.”
Over to you then mayoral candidates …