Council staff are summoned to meetings for more job cuts

Hundreds of council staff members, from departments across the organisation, face special meetings tomorrow which many believe will determine whether they have any future working for cash-strapped Croydon.

Cuts to council jobs are likely to go even deeper after meetings this week

This comes on top of the 400 posts at the council which have been earmarked to be axed or left unfilled in the first round of mass redundancies carried out over the past four months.

Now, after the council issued a Section 114 notice a fortnight ago to declare itself bankrupt, interim chief executive Katherine Kerswell is looking to make even deeper cuts to the services, even those which it has a duty to provide by law.

Kerswell and Hamida Ali, the new leader of the Labour-controlled council, told staff at a virtual meeting on Friday that the latest proposals on saving money are to be put to them this week.

Coming just a month before Christmas and, for many staff, after nearly a year of working on the frontline of covid-19, morale is at rock-bottom. “To be honest, the way things have gone and things are going, if they offer me a deal to get out, I may very probably take it,” one told Inside Croydon.

“My section has a big meeting on Monday,” said another. “My director/head of service is taking it. So we will all know then if we will get made redundant.”

Another told Inside Croydon, “I’ve decided to get out of this clusterfuck of a council.”

Several of those being called to meetings tomorrow had already been redeployed from other jobs within the council in the previous round of what their six-figure salaried executive directors (none of whom have yet lost their jobs) like to describe euphemistically as “reorganisation”.

Graffiti removal staff at the council will be out of work the week before Christmas

Friday’s webinar was said to be as “another heavily-moderated affair with the usual bullshit responses”.

Said the staffer, “I can’t give any indication of the numbers of staff likely to be cut, but everyone is anxious and sick with worry. These are people who have dedicated their lives to public service in Croydon. It’s so corrupt.”

Meanwhile, some of those whose jobs were axed in the first round of redundancies are about to finish their work for the council – just a week before Christmas.

The whole of the (small) team that cleaned up graffiti around the borough will be out of work within weeks.

Staff at Stubbs Mead, the council’s public realm depot, have been sending emails in reply to residents who have reported graffiti. The email states, “Unfortunately due to the financial problems facing the council the ERT team are only removing racist or obscene graffiti until the end of November and then the team are being made redundant on December 18.

“Croydon Council will no longer be offering a graffiti removal service after this date.”

Welcome to the Borough of Culture 2023. Give thanks to Newman, Negrini and Butler.


About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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13 Responses to Council staff are summoned to meetings for more job cuts

  1. I count 18 staff at Director level and above with nearly all on £100,000 plus salaries. Time to reduce these numbers? Surely they cannot all bear no responsibility for what has happened?

    • Paul Huppert says:

      And how many frontline staff could be saved by reducing/getting rid of these salaries?? it beggars belief that this isn’t the first thing they look at.

      and does anyone know negrini’s response to all this? she must have some response as this happened on her watch. what happened to her ‘plan b’?

  2. Pretty well all the Council staff I have met, and I have met many, are decent, hardworking people who do their best, often in difficult circumstances, for the people of the Borough. It’s a shame and a disgrace that senior officers, many of them at least partially complicit in our present slough of bankruptcy, are not affected but the ground troops are. In a similar vein, its disgraceful that Tony Newman and his dismissed Cabinet acolytes can swan about as if nothing has happened and that greedy Negrini, rewarded for steering the Titanic onto the iceberg, can carry on cruising and enjoying the high life on a totally unmerited payoff that would have saved the jobs of four or five ground level workers. We do not live in a fair or just world!

  3. A council has two primary obligations: to those it serves and its employees. Everything else is secondary.

    How could Newman, Negrini, Hall, Butler, Scott and Fitzsimons have got this so wrong at Croydon?

    • Ian Ross says:

      Because there were no proper checks and balances and none of those you list (and, doubtless, more) had any interest in dissenting views. The sad fact is, as noted many times, there are excellent, hard working and capable people who were powerless to influence.

    • Perhaps the Trades Council need to look at their Union links with these so-called Labour local politicians.

  4. Jim Bush says:

    Surely at least Jo Negrini and Colm Lacey should have their “personal” assets frozen, pending Proceeds of Crime Act investigations ?!

  5. Another Croydon Worker says:

    I was sent an invitation to to a meeting on Monday halfway through last week, it made no mention of redundancies, it was only during Friday’s meeting that we all found out the truth. I work in a statutory service and it has constantly been emphasised by Kerswell that although the council has to continue providing these services, they are going to do so at the “minimum possible level” which is a joke. That means less workers and more work, mistakes will inevitably be made at some point and vulnerable people are going to suffer through no fault of their own.

  6. I’ve already noticed the gates to Wandle Park car park have been locked “until further notice”. The poor Croydon Council staff, who not exactly overpaid, are facing ‘death by a thousand cuts’ while those who hold the long and short straws in their hands keep their over-privileged positions and will even get back-slapped for achieving “savings”. The whole scenario is sickening.

  7. David Platt says:

    I have worked in the Council for the past 6 years and have served Croydon Councils most vulnerable residents to the best of my ability. Throughout my short time I have realised how much corruption with regards to Management giving employment to friends and relatives without consideration if the person has the skills to do the job.. I have witnessed unfair roles/jobs given to those who have taken part in Friday night pub crawls rather than skillset. Yes I’m upset that i maybe losing my job but the whole organisation needs a reshuffle from top to bottom/ lower scale Management are no better than Senior management and that’s a fact.

    • moyagordon says:

      Cronyism must be going on the length and breadth of the UK’s public sector. How to tackle it? I think there has to be a national whistleblower support system that is a one-stop shop for all public sector workers and public sector customers, where they can have confidence they will be heard and where wrong doing will be dealt with.

  8. Lewis White says:

    The last council I worked for (a Labour-controlled inner London borough) had wel-publicised and respected fair procurement rules about purchases of goods and services, and tendering of all contracts, and, as far as I’m aware, effective Equal Opportunity Policies and fair evaluation systems and interview procedures when it came to appointment of staff. In general, these all worked and were respected by the vast majority of staff.

    It brought back in house certain out-sourced provisions which had proved to be not giving the service required.

    Sadly, consultancy was a weak spot, and may have been open to abuse.

    Sadly, looking at Government, national and local, and other public services such as education, and indeed, the private sector, there are always people who abuse the system, in small ways and in big ways.

    The problem comes when it is people in positions of power.

    Morality, ethics, standards need to be used to provide a sound corporate framework.

    It sounds like Croydon needs to change in many ways, with a cultural and management renewal.

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