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11.06.15

Preston Council continues redundancy plans to balance books

Town hall bosses at Preston City Council are continuing to reduce staff levels in an attempt to balance the local authority’s books. 

Back in 2014, the Labour-run council agreed to a three-year savings plan, expected to total approximately £3.5m, and cut approximately 74 jobs. 

So far at least 41 people have lost their jobs at the local authority, in a report to be presented to the council’s Employment Committee. 

Ally Brown, director of corporate services at Preston City Council, outlined that during 2014-15 three employees were redeployed into other jobs using “bump redundancies” and of the 28 employees who left on redundancy/early retirement, only one was a compulsory redundancy. 

“At the end of the financial year (31 March 2015) there were 14 employees on notice of redundancy, all of which had volunteered,” said Brown. “As at 31 May 2015, a further 13 employees have left on redundancy/ early retirement, all of which were volunteers”. 

It was also noted that the savings plan has been achieved so far within the forecast budget and within planned timescales. 

Cllr Martyn Rawlinson, cabinet member for resources at Preston City Council, told the Lancashire Evening Post: “A lot of the council’s expenditure is wages so that’s an obvious place to go when you’re looking for the kind of savings we had to find last year. 

“It greatly affects the council’s capacity to run the services. We are still running most of the services that we had five years ago but with a lot fewer staff and a lot less money behind it.” 

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