Questions raised over cost of Redbridge Council’s ongoing restructure

Canal and Jas

Canal and Jas - Credit: Archant

Redbridge’s opposition leader has raised concerns about the cost of the council’s senior management restructure, ahead of more redundancies in the new year.

Conservative Cllr Paul Canal claimed the council’s redundancy costs for the restructure were “breathtaking” and “out of control”.

The council has completed its management team reorganisation, with a spokesman revealing savings have already been made, and is consulting on reducing the number of heads of services by the end of the 2016/17 financial year.

The first person to take voluntary redundancy next year will be Marj Keddy, head of human resources, at the potential cost of more than £284,000 to the council.

The news has angered Cllr Canal, who questioned whether the costs of the restructure were justifiable.

“The leader confirmed at full council in November that he has already spent £2m of ratepayers’ money so far on firing staff and another million rehiring people to do the same job,” he said.

“Every pound they spend can’t be spent somewhere else. Every cut is funding this madness.

Most Read

“They are not modernising the council, they are trashing it, and they are making council taxpayers pick up the bill for their reckless behaviour.”

Redbridge Council, however, defended the restructure and said it was already making savings through wages as the current management team costs approximately £58,000 less in wages than the previous team.

A council spokesman said: “The reorganisation of the management team was implemented to support the significant challenges the council faces over the next few years and designed to better align our resources, knowledge and skills to deliver our key priorities going forward.

“This restructure has now been completed and has already resulted in an initial ongoing wages saving of £57,730 this year.”

The changes were originally announced in March, by Labour leader of the council Cllr Jas Athwal.

The restructure was estimated to cost the council £675,000 when the plans were announced and the local authority has defended the costs by insisting they sit with usual procedures.

“The redundancy payments made are in line with council policy and a business case is produced for all restructures to ensure robust decision making,” added the spokesman.