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£12.7m for staff who were made redundant

By Essex Chronicle  |  Posted: June 28, 2012

Scrutiny: County Hall

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MORE than 1,100 people working for Essex County Council shared £12.7million in redundancy payments last year, the council has announced.

The 1,162 jobs were lost as part of the authority's "transformation" programme, which it claimed had made savings of £370 million on Monday.

The figures were revealed in the council's draft accounts for 2011-12, to be reviewed at an Audit Committee in County Hall tomorrow (Friday).

The document also shows minor overall pay package cuts for top people at County Hall, mainly because no bonuses were paid last year.

Based on an average annual staff salary of £23,000, and including pension and national insurance costs, the council claims the job losses will save around £34 million a year.

The number of workers paid more than £50,000 a year dropped from 459 to 434, and school staff earning £50,000-plus fell from 879 to 650, in the same period.

Councillors' expenses claims went down because of a reduction in committees and members with allowances for special responsibility.

The pension fund deficit soared £224million to £857million because of the international economic crisis.

County Councillor David Finch, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and transformation, said: "Our ambitious modernisation is now forecast to deliver £370m of savings. While we have had to pay out money in the short term as a result of restructuring, this will deliver cost savings in the long term, which will far outweigh the initial cost.

"It is important to take the long term view when it comes to pension investments."

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  • Nanniki  |  June 28 2012, 6:36PM

    I told you so, another financial scandal at Essex C C. These laid off employees, many of whom are lazy and do job duplication, once again eat heavily into council tax payers' money. This culture of over-employing and over-paying redundancies in local govt has gone on for years and has to stop. It's costing us the council tax payers an absolute fortune at a , supposed, time of austerity. Essex C C is tantamount to a squalid, seedy, corrupt totalitarian communist dictatorship.

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  • Rhollamby  |  June 28 2012, 4:26PM

    Figures and statistics cannot tell the complete story. Politically expedient headlines is sometimes all they represent. It is possible that some of these people who have been made redundant, will find themselves working as contractors to ECC rather than employees. "Being paid twice" effectively, but not on the employee payroll. Public finances, revenues and expenditure are fairly complex it seems, and at best only translucent.....I sincerely wish it were otherwise. For others affected by the cuts the sadness is the premature loss of a career, or a job, and the feeling of rejection and low self-esteem. I wish them well in finding something else if they have not done so already.

  • Robert_Pirsig  |  June 28 2012, 1:33PM

    I have to admit I'm not really sure what the point of this article is, or indeed what point it's trying to make. Telling us that redundancies cost money in the short term but save it in the long term... well, that's hardly news, is it?

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