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Job loss fears for Broadland District Council staff

PUBLISHED: 06:30 20 September 2012

Thorpe Lodge, Broadland District Council's offices

Thorpe Lodge, Broadland District Council's offices

Staff are being asked to consider voluntary redundancy and recruitment has been put on hold as council bosses look set to axe jobs.

Broadland District Council is to reorganise its strategy, community and housing service, with people working in that department told they face a “risk of potential redundancy”.

Homelessness, housing advice and the joint core strategy, which maps out thousands of new houses in the Greater Norwich area, are among the issues they consider.

Nich Starling, Liberal Democrat opposition leader, said the news had “come out of the blue” for staff.

He said: “We were assured at a budget meeting earlier in the year there would be no need for compulsory redundancies but it does seem asking for voluntary redundancies is not a million miles away.

“I’m sure this is causing some concern for staff that they asked for this. We are also aware the council has to balance the budget.”

This is thought to be the first set of job cutbacks since Broadland carried out a senior management review last autumn when former chief executive Colin Bland retired.

Two senior posts were cut as a result.

The council employs nearly 300 people in total for its 230.75 full-time equivalent posts.

All of them have been contacted about the potential job losses, although it is unknown how many roles are under threat.

But Stephen Fennell, Broadland District Council’s head of corporate resources, said they are not looking at “wide-scale job losses”.

He said: “We are asking all our staff whether they wish to explore the option of voluntary redundancy as part of our plan to reorganise our strategy, community and housing services.

“The proposed reorganisation has placed some members of that department at risk of potential redundancy, and we are committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies whenever possible.

“For that reason we have already put our recruitment processes on hold to identify possible redeployment opportunities, and asked staff to let us know if they are interested in submitting a request for voluntary redundancy or early retirement.

“Discussions with the staff affected and with the union and other staff representatives are on-going.”

Do you have a council story? Contact reporter Richard Wheeler on 01603 772474 or email richard.wheeler@archant.co.uk

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