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West Berkshire Council redundancy spend criticised

Impact of austerity debated between union and political opponents

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

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CASH-strapped West Berkshire Council has been criticised for paying out more than £750,000 in redundancy payments to its staff over the past two years.

The council laid off 65 staff between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2018, which saw the local authority spend £769,369.65 in severance payments. 

The figures, obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the Newbury Weekly News, show that the redundancies were made in departments facing severe strains on their budget. 

Most notably, 11 adult social care employees, nine from children and family services and 13 from education services, were made redundant over the two-year period. 

A further 23 staff working in public protection and culture also had to leave their posts.

The culture posts include library staff laid off by the council when it had to cut the service to save around £700,000 a year. 

The council defended the figure, saying that the “inevitable” redundancies were  a one-off spend to protect public services.   

However, UNISON West Berkshire Local Government Branch said that the figures were a cause for concern. 

See the full report in the Newbury Weekly News, on sale now. 

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Article comments

  • NoisyNortherner

    04/06/2018 - 12:12

    Depending on the tenure of the impacted employees, these may well have been unavoidable. Also, criticised by who exactly?