Redundancies are set to sweep through Eastbourne Borough Council as staff face the unenviable position of having to re-apply for their jobs.
The job losses are down to cuts from the government and the authority’s plans to become a leaner organisation and meet challenges of the future.
Twenty people are expected to be affected by voluntary and compulsory redundancies across the council.
Town Hall bosses say the shake up, called the Future Model, is the latest step in a wider plan to transform the authority which began with a reduction in the size of the senior management team and a new approach to focussing on the needs of customers. It is also helping the council to meet the government’s requirement for local authorities to change the way they deliver services and to reduce costs.
Council leader David Tutt said, “We of course regret any redundancies however we feel this review is essential to safeguard our ability to deliver front line services.”
The council has said it cannot confirm exactly how many people will be affected by the redundancies but did admit 15 roles would be lost.
A council spokesperson said: “As part of the current staff restructuring, we currently believe approximately 15 roles will be displaced. It is our responsibility to notify staff if there is a risk to their employment, which we have now done, however we do not expect all those employees who have been notified at this point to be made redundant. We are mid-way through the process and no announcements about specific redundancies can be made.”
Future Model is designed to deliver savings of £1.5m by modernising how customers interact with the authority and is progressing as planned.
From April, council customers will be able to use the internet and other self-service technologies to access a wide range of services, often out of office hours.
There will also be a new focus on those who wish to meet and speak directly to council staff with special teams created to meet customers in the community.
A council spokesperson said, “In its first phase, the Future Model is expected to deliver efficiency savings of more than £500,000 per year starting in 2013/14. A staff restructuring programme is also taking place and it is anticipated that approximately 15 roles will be lost, however the council is not yet at the stage of announcing any redundancies.”
Councillor Tutt added, “We are mid-way through the process of implementing the Future Model, in terms of introducing new technologies and restructuring our staff, but we are absolutely on target to introduce our new way of working by April this year.”