Hampshire County Council sheds more than 900 staff in cuts

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MORE than 900 people have left employment at Hampshire County Council since September 2010.

In the last nine months, 130 senior managers, each earning £50,000 to £149,999, and a further 615 staff members, have left the council, and by September, a further 31 senior managers will leave.

The job losses – which include many voluntary redundancies – are part of the authority’s attempt to save £12m from its pay bill in response to central government cuts.

The council’s leader, Cllr Ken Thornber, said: ‘Alongside a recruitment freeze, we introduced a voluntary redundancy scheme, which although not as generous as many other schemes in the public and private sector, aimed to reduce the need for compulsory redundancies and show staff respect and appreciation for their efforts during their time with us.

‘We are very grateful for the support our staff have given us through this difficult time.’

The council’s management numbers will be cut by a quarter by September, leaving it with a total of 14,400 staff, not including schools.

In the year 2011-12, it has been ordered to save £55m by central government.

Cllr Thornber added: ‘Last year was the tip of the iceberg. The senior managers leaving the organisation will save us £36.4m over the four-year period. These savings will be the direct result of our policy to cut the cost of senior management.’

He added: ‘I would like to thank those who have left us for the contribution they have made over the years to the delivery of excellent services to the people of Hampshire. In many cases their decision to leave has helped reduce the need for compulsory redundancies. When our staff leave we lose their experience, expertise and knowledge which is felt by all. There is of course also a financial cost. Redundancy is an example of where initial costs need to be paid but are far outweighed by the ongoing savings.’