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.
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”.
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.”
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