Housing service job cuts ‘could cost lives’ warns GMB union

Officials at one of the largest trades unions at Croydon Council accuse the authority of putting people’s lives at risk with a “restructuring” – meaning job cuts – in their housing and homelessness department.

‘Chaotic’: GMB members remain in Croydon’s housing service remain in dispute over job cuts

The GMB says that job cuts being pushed through could leave Croydon with too few staff to be able to carry out its legal duties over housing.

Tory Mayor Jason Perry’s policy of a council that “does less” has caused what the GMB union describes as a “chaotic” restructure being rolled out in the authority’s department that handles council rents, allocates homes and cares for the needs of those without a home.

Frontline roles, including those in the homelessness services and payroll, are being merged and redundancies are expected. “The council seems to expect a shrinking pool of officers to do a lot more with a lot less,” the GMB union said.

Council officials report they already hold caseloads of up to 150 people at a time. The £192,474 per year council chief executive, Katherine Kerswell, is nevertheless pushing through plans to further reduce staffing.

Lives at risk: council CEO Katherine Kerswell

According to Helen O’Connor, the union’s organiser at Croydon Council, “The GMB remains in dispute with Croydon Council over this ill-thought-out and chaotic restructure, which could put residents at risk and cost lives.

“The service may well be left with too few frontline staff to meet the housing needs of the vulnerable residents in the borough.

“GMB members have requested the council conducts workload and staffing assessments – but so far there has been no attempt to do so.

“The council seems to expect a shrinking pool of officers to do a lot more with a lot less.

“GMB Union is calling on the council to put the brakes on this process and come up with an open, transparent and workable plan to ensure it can meet its statutory obligations to Croydon residents.”

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2 Responses to Housing service job cuts ‘could cost lives’ warns GMB union

  1. Peter Underwood says:

    The Mayor and Chief Executive are cutting everything except their over-inflated salaries.

    These Conservative Party cuts are ruining people’s lives and putting all of us in danger.

  2. Concerned citizen says:

    As Peter says, this put people in danger. Sadly, through no fault of the hard working staff in the housing advice and homelessness service, residents will not get the service they need and only a matter of time before a victim of abuse is left in a violent home situation and comes to serious harm or death.

    The repercussions of this will make the pounds and pence they are trying to save immaterial. No prizes for guessing who who won’t be owning up to the failure when (not if) the worst happens

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