Redundancies at Uttlesford District Council

PUBLISHED: 13:03 04 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 10 May 2010

A MAXIMUM of seven employees at Uttlesford District Council (UDC) will have to leave the authority as the result of money-saving forced redundancies. Despite more than 40 posts at the council being deleted in an attempt to reduce the staffing budget by £1

A MAXIMUM of seven employees at Uttlesford District Council (UDC) will have to leave the authority as the result of money-saving forced redundancies.

Despite more than 40 posts at the council being deleted in an attempt to reduce the staffing budget by £1 million, UDC has revealed that thanks to extensive redeployment, no more than seven members of staff are being forced to leave the council.

Council leader Cllr Jim Ketteridge said: "It is of course a major blow for anyone to lose their job and everyone here at Uttlesford feels deeply for those colleagues who have been, or still face being, made redundant.

"I would say though that the number of redundancies is far lower than we initially feared. Every effort has been made to drive this number down since we announced £1 million needed to be removed from staff costs."

The new chairman of Uttlesford UNISON, Sue Hayden, said that staff at the council hoped that the council was over the worst of its problems and that everyone there was looking positively towards the future.

She said: "Seven people losing their employment is still seven too many, but we're getting positive messages from the new interim chief executive, John Mitchell.

"We're really pleased to see Mr Mitchell in the post and are looking forward to working with a very staff-oriented chief executive. We have every confidence in him and the staff will continue to give 110 per cent, as they have done over the last few months."

Although most of the vacant posts at the council have been filled through staff redeployment, there are a number of jobs that UDC management believes require external candidates.

The council has therefore ended the freeze on recruitment it has had in place since the end of last year and begun advertising a small number of vacancies on its website.

Cllr Ketteridge said: "The authority now needs to move on from this situation. That is why a number of jobs are being advertised on our website. These are posts which have been offered first for redeployment to those staff at risk and then advertised internally to all staff. With these particular posts, no suitable candidate has been found within the council, so they are now being advertised externally.

"Uttlesford District Council is moving on. We have set a legal budget and will be working through an improvement plan to ensure long term stability. We have turned a corner and are now getting on with delivering the services people expect."

At the time of writing there were no vacancies visible on the jobs section of the council's website at www.uttlesford.gov.uk.

The council's web development officer Michael Frost said that the vacancies were expected to appear online early next week.

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