‘It’s like we’re some kind of grotesque human sacrifice’. KEN LEE, our Town Hall reporter, on how ‘deleting’ more than 400 council posts already this year just was not enough for the Whitehall suits
Staff consultations are due to begin next week to cut a further 130 council jobs, “at least”, according to sources within Fisher’s Folly.
That’s on top of the 400-plus council posts already “deleted” this year at the bankrupted council.
The move by interim chief executive Katherine Kerswell comes as Labour-controlled Croydon tries to plug a £66million hole in this year’s budget – £36million of which is attributable to profits and loan interest from loss-making house-builder Brick by Brick which remains unpaid.
These further cuts will come as a devastating blow to what’s left of the council’s staff, including many frontline staff who have survived having to work through two covid lockdowns this year and were already adjusting to the earlier “reorganisation”.
The six-week consultation process will run through the Christmas period, until January 29.
“Morale’s at rock-bottom right now,” one council staffer told Inside Croydon.
“Some people have been working here, not on sky-high wages, for 20 or 30 years. They’ve endured years of cut-backs already, but this has been a terrible year, the worst ever. Now they have to go through Christmas not really knowing whether they will have any job at all next year.
“We really have been treated like shit by senior management.”
Another council staffer spoke about how they feel “like we’re some form of grotesque human sacrifice”, with the additional jobs being cut “to appease the officials from Whitehall, just as Kerswell and the executive directors submit their application for a bail-out loan”.
The council worker said, “Kerswell says she wants to listen to us. They’re running another staff survey. But every time, their solution is the same: cut workers’ jobs, while the exec directors, including the very people responsible for the mess, continue to draw down their huge salaries.
“It has been noticed that while there is a recruitment freeze across the board at the council, Katherine Kerswell still managed to recruit another executive to help her to sign off on the cuts. It makes me sick.”
As Inside Croydon reported earlier this week, when the outline “renewal plans” for cuts were released, some staff expressed genuine fears that even within the council’s statutory services – those which it has to provide by law – such as adult social services, children’s services and the elderly, staffing levels will be so reduced that “mistakes will be made”.
- Click here for the appendix to the report to Wednesday’s council cabinet meeting, with details of the proposed cuts under the “renewal plan”
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