Almost 500 council staff offered voluntary redundancy

All staff with the exception of the chief executive have been asked to consider voluntary redundancy by Fareham Borough Council as it faces cuts of £2.4 million in government funding.

Some 487 personnel have been offered voluntary redudancy by the Hampshire council and have until September 10 to register their interest. The council wants to axe 42 posts.

Chief executive officer Peter Grimwood said: “It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my management career. These people are totally committed and loyal to the organisation – I would not wish it on anybody.

“I am hoping that through some redeployment, we can minimise the impact. We have never had to go through with a compulsory redundancy programme at the authority and certainly not in the 14 years I have been here.”

Fareham employs four HR staff including a head of personnel. The redundancies will be phased in between October 2010 and March 2011.

The council said it has already saved £1.1 million from employee budgets over the last year, to take account of the reduction in income caused by the recession, reducing the workforce from 538 to 487: “These savings have been made by deleting vacant posts, making changes to departmental structures, offering redeployment and flexible retirement. These latest savings will mean the council will have achieved a 17% reduction in headcount from 538 posts to 445.”

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