Stinging criticism was last night aimed at Conservative proposals to make job cuts by disbanding a council department – while a Tory cabinet member also announced her resignation.

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Broadland District Council is working on plans to end its strategy, community and housing service just 12 months after it was created.

It had been expected the job losses, putting four staff members at risk, would be approved at last night’s full council meeting after the Tory cabinet last week backed the idea.

This was despite demands from staff and fellow councillors for more evidence explaining why the cuts were needed, in line with previous departmental changes.

But council leader Andrew Proctor announced amendments to the plan yesterday, with further research and discussions taking place.

A report is expected to be completed by January.

He also insisted this was not the “start of a redundancy programme” but did apologise that the review did not match previous “high standards” of working with staff.

Liberal Democrat motions, including delaying a decision until February to avoid the Christmas period hampering further research, plus allowing a panel of councillors to fully investigate the ideas, were rejected although they did attract support from Tory councillors.

Becky Tye, Unison branch secretary for Broadland, told the meeting there was no evidence to show the remaining staff had the training, time or expertise to take on the work from those people facing redundancy.

Speaking after the decision, Mrs Tye said: “It’s not necessarily a movement in the right direction but people are not going to start tomorrow knowing they are facing redundancy. They can face Christmas knowing they have jobs.”

John Emsell, Thorpe St Andrew South East Conservative, said: “I’ve been a councillor since I was elected in 2011 and I’ve enjoyed all my council time, all the meetings I’ve been too, all the times I’ve met with staff up until my attendance at a cabinet meeting on November 5.

“And since then I’ve hated every single second thinking about my time in Broadland. I am absolutely appalled with how we have handled this situation.”

The meeting began with the news Kim Davis-Claydon had stepped down from the Conservative group and her position as operations and resources portfolio holder.

No successor has been announced, with Mr Proctor explaining he will assess the roles.

Broadland’s changes to the strategy, community and housing department include moving almost all of the service’s 29 workers, whose duties include child protection and housing advice, to other council teams.

But four people, or three full-time equivalent jobs, are at risk as the council wants to reduce the number of staff dedicated to talking to, helping and training communities – known as community engagement.

It is proposed the Rackheath Community Trust will continue to receive three days support under the new arrangements.

Similar support is also suggested for Old Catton and Sprowston – due to Beyond Green’s plans for 3,520 houses – and Thorpe St Andrew.

richard.wheeler@archant.co.uk

11 comments

  • But Ingo if you do not vote for another candidate then you are in effect voting for Athill. I am off to vote now.

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    alecto

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

  • do not vote tomorrow, the election is rigged in favour of Jamie Athill, the UK director of a Czech arms procurer who most likely has supplied the Taliban.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Quite right Ingo. Investigative journalism is a non event at the EDP. In fact if the biggest political scandal to break in Britain happened here in Norfolk, if it concerned the Tories, they wouldn't even look up from their morning coffee and writing reports about duff ten quid notes found in Cromer (true story) and bulls astray on the A47 (another true story) Watergate aint ever going to happen in Norwich.

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    alecto

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Well well well. Have the cracks started to appear at BDC? A cabinet member stands down, compulsory redundancies announced and the Lib Dem opposition group makes allegations of inappropriate behaviour by a Cabinet member. Let’s not forget that this is all from a council that boasts that it is a great place to work.

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    SNUB

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • "known as community engagement." on the face of it these jobs deliver nowt, they should go and I'm pretty sure they were an idea conceived when we was awash with borrowed cash.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Athill declared his Czech directorship in his interview for selection as a conservative candidate so he has the full backing of the Conservative Party. He did not however think it necessary to declare it on his website or in any of his interviews with the public, I would have thought this was an effort to conceal rather than to be up front, open and honest. What kind of Police Commissioner does that make for? If British firms have to go through the Czech Republic to reach new markets, it sounds like a back door entry of things which do not want to be seen coming from the UK, heading for the middle east. All with the hushed blessing from the Conservative Party, which seems to have lost all morals in Norfolk, just as we have seen from Murphy et al.

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    Honest John

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

  • Cracks appeared a long time ago, SNUB. Go back to the tail end of last year when the sub-regional partnership between BDC, SNDC and NCC, offering choice based lettings, split. BDC decided to engage in an expensive and time-consuming review which ultimately resulted in the decision to ditch the electronic process in favour of pen and paper. Not exactly 'forward thinking', and this is the end result.

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    fthc

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Well done Jon Emsell, that rarest of creatures, a thoroughly decent and nice Tory councillor. And I see your good influence is spreading. Well done to Kim for resigning her post with that lot. Dont think there will be an independent standing against either of you.

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    alecto

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • What a shambles.

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    John L Norton

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • What about this then Ingo?.....Investigations of the website www.policeelections.com only shows Athill's details - I understand that other candidates have tried to get their info. posted but failed! This website has had FIVE MILLION hits and certainly has an air of officialdom about it. Further investigation showed that the site is run by something called "Policy Exchange". More investigation described it as a "Non Partisan" educational organisation. And it was founded by Michael Gove and Francis Maude. Hello!!!!! Non partisan????? If, even a proportion of those five million hits have looked at the Norfolk County page they will have come to the conclusion that Athill could well be Michael Gove and Francis Maude's obvious choice for commissioner. Disgraceful cover-up I'd say!!

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    Sandy.L

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Tell us more about the inappropriate behaviour by a cabinet member, SNUB, there is quiet a lot of it at present, right here in this rag. Three letters have been batted off voicing concerns of Mr. Athill's activities as a possible arms procurement UK director of a Czech state company. The state of EDP reporting is falling well below standard, are they paid to be Tory amplifier?

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

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