County reveals it shed 500 jobs last year- 50 more than planned- with staff ‘fearful’ for the future

A MASSIVE shake up has seen 500 people leave Cambridgeshire County Council in the past year – 50 more than the council had planned should go.

Chief executive Mark Lloyd revealed the figures to the overview and scrutiny committee, pointing out that only 150 of those who had left had been made redundant.

But Mr Lloyd conceded this was a “nervous time” for staff and he told the committee it may have explained why there had been a turn out of just 7.8 per cent for the November 30 strike. The possibility was that staff were fearful for their jobs, he told the committee.

More job losses are in the pipeline with the council announcing this week that staff had been told before Christmas of 154 full time equivalent posts going.

As Cabinet met today to settle its �849 million budget and �43 million savings for the coming year – and with it an expected 2.9 per cent rise in Council Tax- the scrutiny report reveals the detailed questioning by councillors now going on.

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One member is revealed as asking the council how they could “improve the mindset of some staff who had worked for the organisation for a long time.”

Council Leader Nick Clarke rebuked the questioner, pointing out that he had met with some “very dedicated” staff and although management changes were planned he had not found “glaring extravagances that needed cutting.”

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Councillor Fred Brown, chairman of the overview and scrutiny committee, said there was an issue of low staff morale at the moment and the leadership had to ensure all staff knew where they stood and were briefed on positive developments.

What is clear from the committee meeting, which met in December, was at that time Cllr Clarke was not expecting a rise in Council Tax.

The report says the leader “stated he would resist an increase to Council Tax, however the council did need to set a balanced budget and this question would be reviewed at the end of the process.”

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