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Almost 400 Posts To Go At Council

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5:50am 24th October 2014
(Updated 5:50am 24th October 2014)

Sweeping job cuts have been announced at Cornwall Council.

280 posts will go before the end of this financial year with around 100 further vacancies remaining unfilled.

Today's announcement is on top of the 89 job losses already announced.

The council says it should save around £31m.

The news has been broken to staff and unions in a letter on Thursday morning from the council's Chief Executive, Andrew Kerr.

Although a consultation period is beginning with staff that could be at risk the redundancies depend on the council's controversial budget being accepted in November.

The authority needs to save around £200m over the next four years, with warnings that it will hit frontline services.

Speaking to Pirate FM when the scale of the savings first became clear, Chief Exec Andrew Kerr told us: "We're taking into account the effect this has on Cornwall's economy, because we are one of the largest employers of course.

"We're trying to maximise the number of staff that can leave through retirement or voluntary means rather than us saying, 'Sorry, we no longer need you' because actually we need lots of them to do good things like they've been doing." 

In a statement the council said: "Cornwall Council is currently going through a major reorganisation in order to save £196 million over the next four years.
"A total of £31 million of the £196 million savings have been identified to come from the pay bill. We have already saved £5.5 million from the collective agreement made with the trade unions. Assuming the draft budget is approved by Members at the meeting of the Full Council on 25 November, the total number of redundancies by the end of this financial year will be 280.
"The Council has already reduced the number of directorates from six to three as part of a radical shake up of its management structure. The three new Corporate Directors - Trevor Doughty, the Corporate Director for Education, Health and Social Care; Paul Masters, the Corporate Director for Communities and Organisational Development and Michael Crich, the Corporate Director for Economy, Enterprise and Environment, took up their new roles in April. The authority then further reduced the number of senior managers in July by reducing the number of Heads of Service by eight.  
"Since then senior managers have been reviewing the shape and structure of all services to help the authority to deliver services in different ways in the future and deliver further management savings to protect frontline services.
"Details of the remaining structure, which is based on the savings targets set out in the draft budget, were presented to Members of the Council's Cabinet last week, with formal consultation with the Trade Unions beginning on 23 October.  
"Employers are required by law to inform the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if they are proposing to make 20 or more employees redundant at one establishment within a period of 45 days or less so that information can be passed to the appropriate Government Departments and Agencies who offer employment and training services. As a result the Council has formally notified the Redundancy Payments Service that up to 280 staff could be at potential risk of redundancy within this financial year.
"Formal consultation with staff will also begin from 23 October. However no appointments to new roles or notices of redundancy will be issued until after the Council's budget meeting on 25 November. The implementation of any changes for Public Health, Adults and parts of Children's Services will be happening at a slightly later timescale as the Council is planning for greater integration with health services as part of its business plan."

5:50am 24th October 2014

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