We have no choice but to cut jobs, says Worcestershire councillor

Councillor John Campion, cabinet member for transformation and commissioning

Councillor John Campion, cabinet member for transformation and commissioning

First published in News Malvern Gazette: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

A LEADING Worcestershire politician has defended controversial plans to axe 1,500 county council jobs - saying they have "no choice" but to make cuts.

Councillor John Campion, who sits in the Conservative cabinet, says there is "no credible alternative" to reducing the in-house workforce a staggering 42 per cent by 2018.

He also says critics of the plan are indulging in "political diatribe" rather than coming up with alternative solutions.

The council is having to slash around £100 million off spending over the next four years, and is looking to reduce the jobs by handing over services to new providers.

Cllr Campion, the cabinet member responsible for the workforce, said: "This organisation is retracting and that's not something we've got a choice over.

"We do need to stop looking out of the rear view mirror and instead, look out of the windscreen.

"By doing what we are doing we can continue to make sure the people of Worcestershire get services rather than just cut for the sake of it.

"Because of the financial situation this council is in there is not a credible alternative - the alternative is not to have services at all."

He also said the Labour group's criticism over it is "rank hypocrisy" given the number of Labour-run authorities around the country doing the same thing.

"It's just political diatribe - look at Sandwell (Council), right on our doorstep - they started making these choices must earlier than we did."

The council is hoping that by offering departments to outside bodies - known as commissioning - many of the staff will find work with the new employer.

Some could be taken over by the private sector, but other organisations like voluntary groups, charities and not-for-profit bodies could all have a role to play.

The tactic has already been criticised by Unison, which says morale among the 3,500-strong workforce is at rock bottom.

Councillor Peter McDonald, opposition Labour group leader, says he fears for the authority's future.

"It's just cuts on top of more cuts, the services the council provides are vital to people," he said.

"Private industry is driven by profit, not by a social need."

As your Worcester News revealed last week, Unison has balloted staff on a possible strike over a one per cent pay rise at County Hall.

A vote on the council's new operating model is being taken on Thursday, May 15.

Comments (14)

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4:07pm Mon 28 Apr 14

CJH says...

He's an idiot. There's always a choice. Better management could have avoided some of this now and in the next four years. Hope the job cuts start at the top - leave the staff alone, they probably know more than their managers do anyway.
He's an idiot. There's always a choice. Better management could have avoided some of this now and in the next four years. Hope the job cuts start at the top - leave the staff alone, they probably know more than their managers do anyway. CJH
  • Score: 10

4:26pm Mon 28 Apr 14

i-cycle says...

"It's just political diatribe - look at Sandwell (Council), right on our doorstep - they started making these choices much earlier than we did." says John (The Privatisation) Champion.

Yep, Sandwell privatised most of its 'back office' functions to BT.

Due to poor service delivery the 15 year contact was terminated earlier this year after only 9 years.

Sandwell estimate they'll save a £2.5M per annum by bringing the services back in-house.

For some services there may be long term efficiencies to be gained from 'externalisation' , but I find it interesting that Worcestershire appear to assume that private will always be best.

A quicker and more cost effective way to make massive annual savings whilst protecting more vital 'front-line' services would be to merge the County with all the districts and form a Unitary Authority… like Sandwell.

Unfortunately I doubt if even the local Labour County Councillors would vote for that!
"It's just political diatribe - look at Sandwell (Council), right on our doorstep - they started making these choices much earlier than we did." says John (The Privatisation) Champion. Yep, Sandwell privatised most of its 'back office' functions to BT. Due to poor service delivery the 15 year contact was terminated earlier this year after only 9 years. Sandwell estimate they'll save a £2.5M per annum by bringing the services back in-house. For some services there may be long term efficiencies to be gained from 'externalisation' , but I find it interesting that Worcestershire appear to assume that private will always be best. A quicker and more cost effective way to make massive annual savings whilst protecting more vital 'front-line' services would be to merge the County with all the districts and form a Unitary Authority… like Sandwell. Unfortunately I doubt if even the local Labour County Councillors would vote for that! i-cycle
  • Score: 17

5:43pm Mon 28 Apr 14

SQL-4a says...

They should start at the top, culling executive numbers and slashing their salaries.
They should start at the top, culling executive numbers and slashing their salaries. SQL-4a
  • Score: 13

5:51pm Mon 28 Apr 14

i-cycle says...

SQL-4a wrote:
They should start at the top, culling executive numbers and slashing their salaries.
That's what Sandwell did!

However you'd get bigger savings by merging County and District Councils as you'd only need one Chief Executive etc and would save a packet by reducing the number of councillors too.
[quote][p][bold]SQL-4a[/bold] wrote: They should start at the top, culling executive numbers and slashing their salaries.[/p][/quote]That's what Sandwell did! However you'd get bigger savings by merging County and District Councils as you'd only need one Chief Executive etc and would save a packet by reducing the number of councillors too. i-cycle
  • Score: 9

6:33pm Mon 28 Apr 14

SQL-4a says...

i-cycle wrote:
SQL-4a wrote:
They should start at the top, culling executive numbers and slashing their salaries.
That's what Sandwell did!

However you'd get bigger savings by merging County and District Councils as you'd only need one Chief Executive etc and would save a packet by reducing the number of councillors too.
Sounds like Sandwell started off doing something right, but failed to follow up correctly.

There is no reason for a chief executive to be paid the current incumbent's rate. Might even be room for debate as to whether we need a CE at all.
[quote][p][bold]i-cycle[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SQL-4a[/bold] wrote: They should start at the top, culling executive numbers and slashing their salaries.[/p][/quote]That's what Sandwell did! However you'd get bigger savings by merging County and District Councils as you'd only need one Chief Executive etc and would save a packet by reducing the number of councillors too.[/p][/quote]Sounds like Sandwell started off doing something right, but failed to follow up correctly. There is no reason for a chief executive to be paid the current incumbent's rate. Might even be room for debate as to whether we need a CE at all. SQL-4a
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Mon 28 Apr 14

skychip says...

A lot of money could be saved by merging Councils. We are paying about 6 Chief Executives, albeit not all on same salary as Worcestershire Council Council one based at County Hall.
A lot of money could be saved by merging Councils. We are paying about 6 Chief Executives, albeit not all on same salary as Worcestershire Council Council one based at County Hall. skychip
  • Score: 12

7:30am Tue 29 Apr 14

green49 says...

Councillor John Campion, who sits in the Conservative cabinet, says there is "no credible alternative" to reducing the in-house workforce a staggering 42 per cent by 2018.

I agree CJH i have been saying the staff all along have the experience, when a job arises and an experienced staff member applies, they are told they have to have this and that qualification to be considered, isnt 10 or more years in the job good enough? no they get someone in who has no knowledge whatsoever and not even a qualification in that particular area of work, as for Mr Campion, met him, full of **** as are most the others, he is just another yes man carrying out the CONservative policies, they cant ever see an alternative because they dont look. they blame everyone else when things go wrong and have idiots like Champion
Councillor John Campion, who sits in the Conservative cabinet, says there is "no credible alternative" to reducing the in-house workforce a staggering 42 per cent by 2018. I agree CJH i have been saying the staff all along have the experience, when a job arises and an experienced staff member applies, they are told they have to have this and that qualification to be considered, isnt 10 or more years in the job good enough? no they get someone in who has no knowledge whatsoever and not even a qualification in that particular area of work, as for Mr Campion, met him, full of **** as are most the others, he is just another yes man carrying out the CONservative policies, they cant ever see an alternative because they dont look. they blame everyone else when things go wrong and have idiots like Champion green49
  • Score: 11

7:36am Tue 29 Apr 14

green49 says...

"Private industry is driven by profit, not by a social need."

As your Worcester News revealed last week, Unison has balloted staff on a possible strike over a one per cent pay rise at County Hall.

Most the staff wont see any rise at all lets get this right WN, most have had there hours cut or are being made redundant, how about the big payers what are they going to get?????
"Private industry is driven by profit, not by a social need." As your Worcester News revealed last week, Unison has balloted staff on a possible strike over a one per cent pay rise at County Hall. Most the staff wont see any rise at all lets get this right WN, most have had there hours cut or are being made redundant, how about the big payers what are they going to get????? green49
  • Score: 9

12:50pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Bufton Tufton says...

skychip wrote:
A lot of money could be saved by merging Councils. We are paying about 6 Chief Executives, albeit not all on same salary as Worcestershire Council Council one based at County Hall.
I agree, and why are these administrators of council tax payers receipts paid more than the Prime Minister? Do away with Malvern Parish/Town Council ( which basically does little more than own the town"s street litter bins and then has a contract (lawyer"s fees!)with Malvern Hills District Council to empty them) do away with the District Council and lets have a unitary authority. Admittedly the Hertfordshire example is not exactly a shining beacon of best practice but the principle is very good. Have any long-term residents of Malvern noticed any particular improvements that are a direct result of the creation of Malvern Town Council some ten years or so ago, compared with when Malvern Hills District Council were running the whole show?
[quote][p][bold]skychip[/bold] wrote: A lot of money could be saved by merging Councils. We are paying about 6 Chief Executives, albeit not all on same salary as Worcestershire Council Council one based at County Hall.[/p][/quote]I agree, and why are these administrators of council tax payers receipts paid more than the Prime Minister? Do away with Malvern Parish/Town Council ( which basically does little more than own the town"s street litter bins and then has a contract (lawyer"s fees!)with Malvern Hills District Council to empty them) do away with the District Council and lets have a unitary authority. Admittedly the Hertfordshire example is not exactly a shining beacon of best practice but the principle is very good. Have any long-term residents of Malvern noticed any particular improvements that are a direct result of the creation of Malvern Town Council some ten years or so ago, compared with when Malvern Hills District Council were running the whole show? Bufton Tufton
  • Score: 2

2:26pm Tue 29 Apr 14

i-cycle says...

Bufton Tufton wrote:
skychip wrote:
A lot of money could be saved by merging Councils. We are paying about 6 Chief Executives, albeit not all on same salary as Worcestershire Council Council one based at County Hall.
I agree, and why are these administrators of council tax payers receipts paid more than the Prime Minister? Do away with Malvern Parish/Town Council ( which basically does little more than own the town"s street litter bins and then has a contract (lawyer"s fees!)with Malvern Hills District Council to empty them) do away with the District Council and lets have a unitary authority. Admittedly the Hertfordshire example is not exactly a shining beacon of best practice but the principle is very good. Have any long-term residents of Malvern noticed any particular improvements that are a direct result of the creation of Malvern Town Council some ten years or so ago, compared with when Malvern Hills District Council were running the whole show?
I have no experience of and am therefore not in a position to comment on Malvern Town Council, but I do think that voters relate better and can have a bigger influence over 'parish pump' issues that could be better decided upon and a parish or town level.

There is now a sound and growing case to merge the Districts and County. What would be lost is a more remote bureaucracy and this is where beefed up parish and town councils could play an important role.
[quote][p][bold]Bufton Tufton[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]skychip[/bold] wrote: A lot of money could be saved by merging Councils. We are paying about 6 Chief Executives, albeit not all on same salary as Worcestershire Council Council one based at County Hall.[/p][/quote]I agree, and why are these administrators of council tax payers receipts paid more than the Prime Minister? Do away with Malvern Parish/Town Council ( which basically does little more than own the town"s street litter bins and then has a contract (lawyer"s fees!)with Malvern Hills District Council to empty them) do away with the District Council and lets have a unitary authority. Admittedly the Hertfordshire example is not exactly a shining beacon of best practice but the principle is very good. Have any long-term residents of Malvern noticed any particular improvements that are a direct result of the creation of Malvern Town Council some ten years or so ago, compared with when Malvern Hills District Council were running the whole show?[/p][/quote]I have no experience of and am therefore not in a position to comment on Malvern Town Council, but I do think that voters relate better and can have a bigger influence over 'parish pump' issues that could be better decided upon and a parish or town level. There is now a sound and growing case to merge the Districts and County. What would be lost is a more remote bureaucracy and this is where beefed up parish and town councils could play an important role. i-cycle
  • Score: 1

3:47pm Tue 29 Apr 14

green49 says...

The council is hoping that by offering departments to outside bodies - known as commissioning - many of the staff will find work with the new employer.

Some could be taken over by the private sector, but other organisations like voluntary groups, charities and not-for-profit bodies could all have a role to play.

Most staff i know would not want to work for an outside employer, and as reguards the second paragraph that Champion has said what a load of *******s why would these organisations work for nothing? he doesnt.
The council is hoping that by offering departments to outside bodies - known as commissioning - many of the staff will find work with the new employer. Some could be taken over by the private sector, but other organisations like voluntary groups, charities and not-for-profit bodies could all have a role to play. Most staff i know would not want to work for an outside employer, and as reguards the second paragraph that Champion has said what a load of *******s why would these organisations work for nothing? he doesnt. green49
  • Score: 6

3:57pm Tue 29 Apr 14

mrwrighty says...

Presumably the cuts are from the top down, oh of course not, carry on paying inflated salaries to the chief exec and their cronies with their inflated expenses and pensions, then cut the front line staff that deliver the services. There should be a board of local people to control the employment and salary levels of the council we pay for so that we can get the best value for money.
Presumably the cuts are from the top down, oh of course not, carry on paying inflated salaries to the chief exec and their cronies with their inflated expenses and pensions, then cut the front line staff that deliver the services. There should be a board of local people to control the employment and salary levels of the council we pay for so that we can get the best value for money. mrwrighty
  • Score: 7

4:28pm Tue 29 Apr 14

i-cycle says...

mrwrighty wrote:
Presumably the cuts are from the top down, oh of course not, carry on paying inflated salaries to the chief exec and their cronies with their inflated expenses and pensions, then cut the front line staff that deliver the services. There should be a board of local people to control the employment and salary levels of the council we pay for so that we can get the best value for money.
Merge all Districts and the County in Worcestershire to form a single Unitary Council and suddenly you need far fewer chief officers and councillors. the savings can then be used to protect frontline staff and vital services.
[quote][p][bold]mrwrighty[/bold] wrote: Presumably the cuts are from the top down, oh of course not, carry on paying inflated salaries to the chief exec and their cronies with their inflated expenses and pensions, then cut the front line staff that deliver the services. There should be a board of local people to control the employment and salary levels of the council we pay for so that we can get the best value for money.[/p][/quote]Merge all Districts and the County in Worcestershire to form a single Unitary Council and suddenly you need far fewer chief officers and councillors. the savings can then be used to protect frontline staff and vital services. i-cycle
  • Score: 4

7:23pm Tue 29 Apr 14

old misery says...

The problems started years ago with councils merging and creating non jobs now the chicken are coming home .
The problems started years ago with councils merging and creating non jobs now the chicken are coming home . old misery
  • Score: 0

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