Worcestershire County Council announces plan to axe 1,500 jobs by 2018

Redditch Advertiser: Worcestershire County Council has unveiled more job cuts by 2018 Worcestershire County Council has unveiled more job cuts by 2018

AROUND 1,500 jobs are to be axed at Worcestershire County Council by 2018, it has emerged.

A new, four-year plan to shrink the cash-strapped authority by handing over some services to outside bodies has been revealed, with the Conservative leadership saying it expects to have 2,000 in-house workers by April, 2018.

The change is being driven by the need to slash budgets by around £100 million and focus on the county’s ageing demographic. It follows several previous rounds of job cuts since 2011 which has seen County Hall’s workforce already shrink by around 800.

The leadership is banking on many of the staff transferring to new employers, minimising some of the impact on the economy, and insists it needs to adapt the way it operates to survive.

But the opposition Labour group has called it “outrageous” and wants a review into the funding the council gets from central Government.

The changes are part of a new operating model called Futurefit aimed at handing services to outside bodies, a tactic known as commissioning. Vital services like adult and children’s social care will stay in-house, as will some business and environmental functions, while roads maintenance is staying with Ringway, which has just agreed a new contract to 2020.

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But everything else is up for grabs, with the council acting as a contract manager.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, the leader, said: “We’ve already been changing they way we operate in an evolving way, but we need to more agile and work towards a strategy of becoming a commissioning body.

"I’ve been to seven staff roadshows where this has been quite the topic of debate.

"There are always concerns with change but we’ve looked at models across the country in the process of getting to this.

"I realise it’ll be quite a change for staff – but if you work for Jaguar Land Rover you need to change your skills every seven years.

“The staff will have to develop their commercial acumen, negotiating skills and contract management.”

Councillor Peter McDonald, Labour group leader, said: “He uses this silly example of Jaguar Land Rover, they build luxury cars.

“If the car breaks down you can go elsewhere. Our services are not a luxury, but a necessity.”

The new operating model will go to a vote of the entire county council on May 15.

Comments (15)

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11:14am Fri 11 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

Well no matter what the politicians say I was told by a senior manager that around 50% cuts in staff were expected, and I was further told that there has been a stripping out of middle management losing huge ammounts of expertise, giving and suiting the politicians a free hand, but exposing we the public to what could be seen as their wild political crusade.
What it means that we the public are going to be left in the incapable hands of politics which is part time, part experienced, restrained by party loyalty no matter the outcome. WHAT A FUTURE?
Well no matter what the politicians say I was told by a senior manager that around 50% cuts in staff were expected, and I was further told that there has been a stripping out of middle management losing huge ammounts of expertise, giving and suiting the politicians a free hand, but exposing we the public to what could be seen as their wild political crusade. What it means that we the public are going to be left in the incapable hands of politics which is part time, part experienced, restrained by party loyalty no matter the outcome. WHAT A FUTURE? Jabbadad
  • Score: 9

11:27am Fri 11 Apr 14

brooksider says...

As well as the savings being imaginary, how good are the Council as 'Contract Managers'?

This model of supplying Local Authority and Government services is being discredited on a regular basis and has proven to be more expensive for the taxpayer.
FutureFit, or as I have heard it being called 'Operation Square Peg', will be no different.
As well as the savings being imaginary, how good are the Council as 'Contract Managers'? This model of supplying Local Authority and Government services is being discredited on a regular basis and has proven to be more expensive for the taxpayer. FutureFit, or as I have heard it being called 'Operation Square Peg', will be no different. brooksider
  • Score: 17

12:31pm Fri 11 Apr 14

lilboo says...

What on earth is Haughty Hardman on about Jaguar Land Rover?! What an idiot, totally out of touch Tory snob!
What on earth is Haughty Hardman on about Jaguar Land Rover?! What an idiot, totally out of touch Tory snob! lilboo
  • Score: 14

1:30pm Fri 11 Apr 14

WilkoJ says...

If council services can still be maintained after these further cuts, it makes you wonder why so many people were employed in the first place at huge expense to the tax payer. may be these cuts will see those left actually work harder and more efficiently and fall in to line with the working practices of the private sector. Still, privatisation of council services is still the way forward to ensure even greater value for money for the tax payer, as well as more efficient and better quality services.
If council services can still be maintained after these further cuts, it makes you wonder why so many people were employed in the first place at huge expense to the tax payer. may be these cuts will see those left actually work harder and more efficiently and fall in to line with the working practices of the private sector. Still, privatisation of council services is still the way forward to ensure even greater value for money for the tax payer, as well as more efficient and better quality services. WilkoJ
  • Score: -16

2:06pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Fairfreddie says...

If all the County Council does is commission services why do we need councillors. What will they do? All the services will be on contract so there won't be any need for councillors. What will they stand for at election time? They will no longer have any influence or be able to intervene for their constituents as contracts will run without their need for any further input.
If all the County Council does is commission services why do we need councillors. What will they do? All the services will be on contract so there won't be any need for councillors. What will they stand for at election time? They will no longer have any influence or be able to intervene for their constituents as contracts will run without their need for any further input. Fairfreddie
  • Score: 11

2:25pm Fri 11 Apr 14

i-cycle says...

Lots of other County Councils have already or are planning to merge with the local districts to join the major urban areas in becoming Unitary Authorities.

Leicestershire expect to save c £30M per year by doing this. I can only think Worcestershire aren't doing this for one main reason, the politicians and senior management don't want to lose their own jobs!
Lots of other County Councils have already or are planning to merge with the local districts to join the major urban areas in becoming Unitary Authorities. Leicestershire expect to save c £30M per year by doing this. I can only think Worcestershire aren't doing this for one main reason, the politicians and senior management don't want to lose their own jobs! i-cycle
  • Score: 15

7:28am Sat 12 Apr 14

kidderlord says...

The Tories have an excellent opportunity here to demonstrate their belief in the private sector and enterprise. If they are set on shedding these jobs, and putting the services to the private sector, they should set up a small team employed to encourage and train employees to start up their own companies to do the work and bid for it. If the expertise exists in house, surely say ten existing employees taking over the IT role as a private company set up with the help of the county has to be a good thing for all concerned.
The Tories have an excellent opportunity here to demonstrate their belief in the private sector and enterprise. If they are set on shedding these jobs, and putting the services to the private sector, they should set up a small team employed to encourage and train employees to start up their own companies to do the work and bid for it. If the expertise exists in house, surely say ten existing employees taking over the IT role as a private company set up with the help of the county has to be a good thing for all concerned. kidderlord
  • Score: -9

6:17pm Sat 12 Apr 14

b1ackb1rd says...

Come clean - this is a massive opportunity for Tories to do their mates a favour and help them to feast, nay gorge on the public purse by setting up companies to perform tasks that they already mismanage.
Open to tender? Yea right, it's not what you know ... it's who can give you a ball park figure on the QT for a small consultancy fee?
Come clean - this is a massive opportunity for Tories to do their mates a favour and help them to feast, nay gorge on the public purse by setting up companies to perform tasks that they already mismanage. Open to tender? Yea right, it's not what you know ... it's who can give you a ball park figure on the QT for a small consultancy fee? b1ackb1rd
  • Score: 3

5:58pm Sun 13 Apr 14

Driving Instructor says...

Hardiman is a total idiot ,how the hell do you compare a well run company like JLR,with a Council like WCC. the staff even have to give notice before they come to work to book a desk and phone, and where was the contract for Ringway put to the outside world, it certainly was NOT on the framework, we have had 3 county Councilors now in charge of the Envireonmental Services,Transport , and none have any transport background,
.This is where the missmanagement comes in.
Hardiman is a total idiot ,how the hell do you compare a well run company like JLR,with a Council like WCC. the staff even have to give notice before they come to work to book a desk and phone, and where was the contract for Ringway put to the outside world, it certainly was NOT on the framework, we have had 3 county Councilors now in charge of the Envireonmental Services,Transport , and none have any transport background, .This is where the missmanagement comes in. Driving Instructor
  • Score: 12

6:22pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Landy44 says...

Sadly for those affected, this is long overdue. Whilst I feel for those who will lose their jobs, the councils across the country have become bloated and they do need to be reduced to the minimal size and unnecessary services stopped. Taxes won't be reduced as a result as successive governments have mortgaged us to and past the hilt so our taxes will need to pay off the bill (oh wait a minute - we don't take sufficient taxes to do that! Future interest rate rises are all it will take to tip this country off the cliff).
I don't however believe the council should be "commissioning" services though - they don't have the commercial acumen nor expertise. Far better that whatever services are provided should be done so on a commercial basis and let the market find it's own level of service and cost. Meanwhile, we'd all do better to individually and collectively try to rebuild "community" in our local areas and start to look out for ourselves and one another.
Sadly for those affected, this is long overdue. Whilst I feel for those who will lose their jobs, the councils across the country have become bloated and they do need to be reduced to the minimal size and unnecessary services stopped. Taxes won't be reduced as a result as successive governments have mortgaged us to and past the hilt so our taxes will need to pay off the bill (oh wait a minute - we don't take sufficient taxes to do that! Future interest rate rises are all it will take to tip this country off the cliff). I don't however believe the council should be "commissioning" services though - they don't have the commercial acumen nor expertise. Far better that whatever services are provided should be done so on a commercial basis and let the market find it's own level of service and cost. Meanwhile, we'd all do better to individually and collectively try to rebuild "community" in our local areas and start to look out for ourselves and one another. Landy44
  • Score: 0

7:02pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Jabbadad says...

So landy44, you must be yet another who think that hundreds if not thousands of employees at County Hall and the Guildhall walk around doing little if nothing each day.
Please please don't even think that our Councillors do, or are capable of doing, all the important paper work that comes in lorry loads via the webb from Whitehall, and all need legally implimenting locally.
I have spent the last 14 years attending meetings at County Hall and the Guildhall and I can assure you that the WEAKEST LINK is the COUNCILLORS themselves. At most if not all meetings there are representatives from the legal department who are there to stop the politicians from driving the County and City Councils over the cliff.
And I can assure you that amongst the ranks of the actual workers there are many very highly intelligent staff, who frequently have to tread the pathways that are hoisted onto them by Governments local and National, when they (our own workforce) can see the pitfalls coming.
So until we get these political idiots away from the helm we will be at the mercy of ignorance and I am afraid to say as still being reported in the newspapers, corruption which is only part re-addressed.
And I hasten to add that I nor any family members work at County or City councils.
So landy44, you must be yet another who think that hundreds if not thousands of employees at County Hall and the Guildhall walk around doing little if nothing each day. Please please don't even think that our Councillors do, or are capable of doing, all the important paper work that comes in lorry loads via the webb from Whitehall, and all need legally implimenting locally. I have spent the last 14 years attending meetings at County Hall and the Guildhall and I can assure you that the WEAKEST LINK is the COUNCILLORS themselves. At most if not all meetings there are representatives from the legal department who are there to stop the politicians from driving the County and City Councils over the cliff. And I can assure you that amongst the ranks of the actual workers there are many very highly intelligent staff, who frequently have to tread the pathways that are hoisted onto them by Governments local and National, when they (our own workforce) can see the pitfalls coming. So until we get these political idiots away from the helm we will be at the mercy of ignorance and I am afraid to say as still being reported in the newspapers, corruption which is only part re-addressed. And I hasten to add that I nor any family members work at County or City councils. Jabbadad
  • Score: 9

8:57pm Mon 14 Apr 14

i-cycle says...

Landy44 wrote:
Sadly for those affected, this is long overdue. Whilst I feel for those who will lose their jobs, the councils across the country have become bloated and they do need to be reduced to the minimal size and unnecessary services stopped. Taxes won't be reduced as a result as successive governments have mortgaged us to and past the hilt so our taxes will need to pay off the bill (oh wait a minute - we don't take sufficient taxes to do that! Future interest rate rises are all it will take to tip this country off the cliff).
I don't however believe the council should be "commissioning" services though - they don't have the commercial acumen nor expertise. Far better that whatever services are provided should be done so on a commercial basis and let the market find it's own level of service and cost. Meanwhile, we'd all do better to individually and collectively try to rebuild "community" in our local areas and start to look out for ourselves and one another.
It would be great if we could. Unfortunately its an idealistic pipe dream.

Public services are 'public' because they need to provide services that aren't commercially deliverable. The private sector (or skills adopted from it) can to some extent drive increased efficiencies to reduce cost, but they are very bad at delivering services to meet need rather than profit.

I'd also beg to differ on Landy's analysis of why the country is in such a financial and debt ridden mess. The Government and Local Authorities indeed need to carry some of the blame, but we need to remember that what we are all having to cope with is effectively having to bail out the banks and financial institutions that are the biggest causes of the problem. Set against this corporate greed and politics incompetence we should also not forget a society that has become selfish and unable to take a collective view on what is best for social cohesion and well being.

This Government and the last have undermined local democracy by increasingly reducing the finance raised locally (rather the centrally) and undermining Local Government's powers to make real decisions about the services it can and should deliver to meet local needs. The latter should be influenced in a much greater way by the local electorate. Unfortunately the latter increasingly fail to vote because of the growing realisation that in the majority of Councils it makes no real difference as the Council neither has the power nor the resources to make a radical difference and the overall control in a political sense is all but predetermined.

This next stage in the emasculation of local democracy will see the effective 'privatisation' of local services to a corporate elite that will convert citizens to consumers who have very little say in how the services they need are delivered. The reasons to bother to vote will be further eroded as all any elected politician will increasingly be able to do is decide which of the few private companies that deliver a particular service gets the contract.

Probably not a problem if you have the wealth and/or income not to be reliant on public services, but even then you'll be living in a more divided and dis-functional society in which the big corporates and financiers have even more say than what's left of local democracy.
[quote][p][bold]Landy44[/bold] wrote: Sadly for those affected, this is long overdue. Whilst I feel for those who will lose their jobs, the councils across the country have become bloated and they do need to be reduced to the minimal size and unnecessary services stopped. Taxes won't be reduced as a result as successive governments have mortgaged us to and past the hilt so our taxes will need to pay off the bill (oh wait a minute - we don't take sufficient taxes to do that! Future interest rate rises are all it will take to tip this country off the cliff). I don't however believe the council should be "commissioning" services though - they don't have the commercial acumen nor expertise. Far better that whatever services are provided should be done so on a commercial basis and let the market find it's own level of service and cost. Meanwhile, we'd all do better to individually and collectively try to rebuild "community" in our local areas and start to look out for ourselves and one another.[/p][/quote]It would be great if we could. Unfortunately its an idealistic pipe dream. Public services are 'public' because they need to provide services that aren't commercially deliverable. The private sector (or skills adopted from it) can to some extent drive increased efficiencies to reduce cost, but they are very bad at delivering services to meet need rather than profit. I'd also beg to differ on Landy's analysis of why the country is in such a financial and debt ridden mess. The Government and Local Authorities indeed need to carry some of the blame, but we need to remember that what we are all having to cope with is effectively having to bail out the banks and financial institutions that are the biggest causes of the problem. Set against this corporate greed and politics incompetence we should also not forget a society that has become selfish and unable to take a collective view on what is best for social cohesion and well being. This Government and the last have undermined local democracy by increasingly reducing the finance raised locally (rather the centrally) and undermining Local Government's powers to make real decisions about the services it can and should deliver to meet local needs. The latter should be influenced in a much greater way by the local electorate. Unfortunately the latter increasingly fail to vote because of the growing realisation that in the majority of Councils it makes no real difference as the Council neither has the power nor the resources to make a radical difference and the overall control in a political sense is all but predetermined. This next stage in the emasculation of local democracy will see the effective 'privatisation' of local services to a corporate elite that will convert citizens to consumers who have very little say in how the services they need are delivered. The reasons to bother to vote will be further eroded as all any elected politician will increasingly be able to do is decide which of the few private companies that deliver a particular service gets the contract. Probably not a problem if you have the wealth and/or income not to be reliant on public services, but even then you'll be living in a more divided and dis-functional society in which the big corporates and financiers have even more say than what's left of local democracy. i-cycle
  • Score: 3

9:01am Tue 15 Apr 14

green49 says...

I totally agree with i-cycle,,Public services are 'public' because they need to provide services that aren't commercially deliverable. The private sector (or skills adopted from it) can to some extent drive increased efficiencies to reduce cost, but they are very bad at delivering services to meet need rather than profit.

HARDMAN IS NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE he and his cronies should go, whats going on with all these cuts is undemocratic, cruel, unneccessary and if it lands in Private hands it will cost more and more and more,
The County council have already lost some top people and been replaced by muppets and yes men with no idea of what they are doing, but who cares eh, its TAXPAYERS money again.
I totally agree with i-cycle,,Public services are 'public' because they need to provide services that aren't commercially deliverable. The private sector (or skills adopted from it) can to some extent drive increased efficiencies to reduce cost, but they are very bad at delivering services to meet need rather than profit. HARDMAN IS NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE he and his cronies should go, whats going on with all these cuts is undemocratic, cruel, unneccessary and if it lands in Private hands it will cost more and more and more, The County council have already lost some top people and been replaced by muppets and yes men with no idea of what they are doing, but who cares eh, its TAXPAYERS money again. green49
  • Score: 8

9:03am Tue 15 Apr 14

green49 says...

There have been so many people put out of work due to lies and false claims by Hardman and co, so my question to him is, If there are so many less staff and costs now can we have a reduction in the council tax?
There have been so many people put out of work due to lies and false claims by Hardman and co, so my question to him is, If there are so many less staff and costs now can we have a reduction in the council tax? green49
  • Score: 6

12:45pm Tue 15 Apr 14

themooman says...

Hardman is doing a great job, keep him in i say!! Whats everyones issue with him?
Hardman is doing a great job, keep him in i say!! Whats everyones issue with him? themooman
  • Score: -10

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