Croydon Council employees risk losing their jobs

Croydon Job Centre Plus. Pic Helen Cobain

Croydon Job Centre Plus. Pic Helen Cobain

Up to a fifth of Croydon Council employees could lose their jobs over the next three years as part of measures to cut spending by £100m over the next three years.

The reductions to the Croydon council workforce have also come in the wake of an expected £3.5m overspend by the council this year.

Councillor Simon Hall, Croydon cabinet member for finance and treasury, said: “Overall, the level of funding available to the council over the next three years is expected to decrease by some 20%, and so our workforce is likely to decrease by a similar percentage.”

“We have sought to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible, but it may be that as we reorganise specific departments over the next months and years that some compulsory redundancies may occur.”

Thousands of staff across the Croydon council were offered voluntary severance last week in a bid to balance the budget, with hopes that such compulsory redundancies would be avoided.

The extent of the budget cuts and their effect on job losses will not be fully felt until George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on November 25.

However, due to what Hall called “the continuing onslaught on local government”, the areas hit hardest by cuts will be the Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children funding, the Public Health grant and Adult Education.

According to Croydon council’s Autumn Financial Statement, the department that these areas fall under has overspent for the last three years.

The statement also said: “Local Government funding has been unfairly targeted in the past six years’ national Government Budgets. These pressures are felt even more acutely in Croydon than most parts of the country.”

The news of the potential redundancies was received by some as a positive step. Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will be pleased that the Council is reducing its organisational bloat to make necessary savings.”

“Local Authority budgets are stretched across the country, and if Croydon Council can offer voluntary redundancy to its entire workforce perhaps it has been overstaffed in the first place”, he said.

Trade unions Unison and GMB were unavailable for comment.

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