Council workers to lose jobs as Hartlepool hit by £8m cut

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

SEVEN council workers are set to lose their jobs after the authority was hit with an £8m funding cut.

The redundancies were agreed by Hartlepool councillors but over 20 positions were originally at risk.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s leader blamed big cuts in the authority’s Government grant funding for the job losses.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “From April 2015, the Government is reducing our grant support by a further £8m and this means that since 2010/11 the council’s total cut in grant support is £30m which equates to almost 40 per cent of our budget.

“No one wants to see anyone lose their job but given the enormity of the Government grant cut for 2015/16, it was inevitable that there would be some compulsory redundancies.

“We were originally anticipating over 20 but have managed to reduce this to seven by redeploying staff to vacant posts where possible.

“We have continued to strive for efficiencies and make savings in areas which predominantly don’t impact on front-line services and jobs but it simply isn’t possible to avoid this altogether.”

Formal consultations were undertaken with trade unions.

A report to the Finance and Policy committee by the council’s assistant chief executive Andrew Atkin stated: “As part of the consultations with the trade unions, arrangements for consulting and implementing staffing changes, timescales and arrangements for addressing issues, as they arise, were discussed and agreed.

“The procedure followed the council’s Reorganisation, Redundancy and Redeployment Policy.”

The council will look for new jobs for the seven workers served with notice under its Compulsory Redundancy Redeployment Procedure.

Mr Atkin added: “If this is successful then the redundancy notice will be retracted.”

Coun Akers-Belcher added; “In terms of the budget for 2015/16 we have been able to protect the vast majority of front-line services and jobs.

“We’ve also ensured that the least impact will be on children and vulnerable adults which are our top priorities.

“At the same time we’ve ensured that funding is available to continue in the drive to move the town forward, secure new investment and create wealth and jobs.”