The government’s “radical” 10-point plan to help councils create efficiencies is akin to “teaching people to suck eggs” and does not provide HR with any extra support to avoid job cuts, experts have warned.
The document followed the publication of a survey by the BBC, which found up to 10% of council jobs could be cut over the next five years.
But council HR directors and local government experts reacted with bemusement towards the plan.
Stephen Moir, corporate director of people, policy and law at Cambridgeshire County Council – which will cut 300 jobs over the next five years – said: “We are doing all 10 points and then some, so it doesn’t tell me anything new or give me new thoughts to take forward for my organisation.
“There is nothing in there that’s significant or will have a huge impact. For councils which have done a lot of work around these areas, that will probably mean they will have to reduce the number of jobs they have, because they don’t have many other costs they can further control.”
Moir called on the government to publish best practice data from private sector firms that had successfully gone through efficiency programmes “rather than just covering the same messages”.
Gillian Hibberd, president of the Public Sector People Managers’ Association and HR director of Buckinghamshire County Council – which is cutting 400 jobs over the next three years – added the document was just “a summary of what [councils] are actually doing at the moment”.
10-point plan to create efficiencies