Staff ‘numb’ over plans for learning service

Grant Fielder in action, airborne above headteacher Mrs Bush during his visit to Langstone Junior School Portsmouth with Olympic swimmer Katy Sexton ''     Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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STAFF who face losing their position within a learning disabilities service restructure said they feel ‘numb’ from the news.

The service, which is based in four daycare centres, is being shaken up by Portsmouth City Council to both save money and provide a better service for those who use it.

But it means 92 posts will be cut down to 43 – although the council says it is working with staff to avoid compulsory redundancies.

In total, £400,000 from an overall budget of £4m would be saved.

James Smith, regional organiser for union Unison, said: ‘There’s disappointment the council’s proposal for transformation of day services has been kept hidden from public scrutiny, with limited effort to involve service users and their families in proposals.

‘There is a feeling of desperation that halving the staffing levels of a service dependent on personal and one-to-one contact will decimate the service. Staff are numbed by the news.’