Ipswich: Senior council jobs axed to save �500k

A RAFT of senior jobs are under threat as the borough council attempts to cut more than half a million pounds from its annual wage bill, the Ipswich Star can reveal today.

The authority is talking to staff about reducing the number of senior managers by seven – it plans to cut 25 jobs and create 18 new posts that existing staff will be invited to apply for.

The move affects the council’s directors, heads of service, and some operations managers. A three-week consultation period has now started.

The council hopes the changes will be completed during September and October.

The staff affected were called to a meeting at the end of last week when the changes were outlined to them. They were then told to collect personalised letters from the council’s reception at Grafton House.

Council leader David Ellesmere said the changes were necessary to safeguard frontline services.

He said: “The government is cutting the amount it gives us by 30 per cent so we have to look at ways of cutting costs.

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“We believe we can make the council more efficient while safeguarding frontline services which is our top priority.

“At this stage we are only talking about proposals which are subject to consultation – and we want all those who may be affected to take part in these consultations.”

Mr Ellesmere said there were already two vacant posts among those people who would be affected by the changes – so the likely number of departures from the council was five.

The seniority of the jobs meant that the savings would be substantial, leading to annual savings of about �500,000, he added.

Opposition leader John Carnall said the borough was now putting into action proposals his group had made several months ago.

He said: “Back at the budget debate in February we suggested restructuring the council to cut the number of senior managers.

“At the time they voted against our proposal, but now they are doing exactly what we were saying they should do so we will support that. But of course if they had accepted our motion in February they would have saved even more because the changes would have been brought in several months earlier.”

Mr Carnall said the changes were a vindication of the Tories’ position.

“If David Ellesmere will tell me what budget reductions he needs to make in the future we will be happy to help him out,” he added.

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