Plans to privatise and close yet more council services have been announced by chief executive Alistair Neill in an attempt to make further savings.
The proposals include staff redundancies equivalent to 300 full-time posts—30% of the council’s current workforce.
Neill wrote to staff telling them of his plans to reduce spending by £9m.
Unison, the trade union representing many council employees, have called a meeting for members and non-members to discuss the redundancies and proposals to impose unpaid leave on staff.
The meeting will take place this Thursday 2nd May at 12.30–1.30pm at the town hall.
Below we analyse several of the key points in the council letter. The full text can be found here.
“Dear colleague … Against a background of radically reduced funding from central government…”
They decided giving money to the banks to correct the fuck-ups they made was more important than spending money on you.
“…We will have to cease some services that are valued by our partners and residents simply because we no longer have the funds to support them…”
Think youth services, day care centres, things they don’t have to legally provide … all gone.
“…We will unfortunately have to cut additional jobs. We now estimate that around 300 full time equivalent posts will be lost over the next two years…”
As we have said above, this is equivalent to three in every 10 workers. More strain will be put on the ones that remain, meaning more stress for them and a poorer service everyone else.
“…We will have to go much further in future years…”
More jobs lost, more services cut. The council will eventually become the equivalent of a senior management team—all on high salaries—buying services in from private companies looking for profits.
“…non-statutory services may have to be commercialised or stopped…”
Non-statutory services WILL be stopped.
“…Herefordshire Council will continue to play a leading role in the life of the county…”
This was a typo. An earlier version read “Herefordshire Council will continue to play a leading role in making poor decisions and fucking up the life of the county”.
“…We will remain a significant employer…”
For the next few months.
“…What will the council do differently? We have changed our internal process to make sure that all managers are focused on financial control…”
Because before they weren’t. Note, this won’t mean the cancelling of the £27m ESG link road.
“…What do [we] still need to do? Promote personal independence and responsibility for many people who might otherwise receive support from our adult social care services…”
The council won’t be looking after you anymore. Day care centres, meals on wheels … don’t be so fucking stupid, did we not just tell you the council has a road to build! Otherwise, how the fuck are all the millions of shoppers from Worcester and Gloucester and Cardiff and Bristol who don’t have a cinema in their own cities, how are they supposed to get from Edgar Street to Aylestone Hill otherwise?! Don’t be so fucking selfish. Buy your own food!
“…Reduce or stop council funding of a range of services including those in the areas of leisure, recreation and culture.”
If you currently enjoy going for a swim, to the gym, to the library or museum or the municipal golf course … make the most of it!
Exact details of these further cuts are yet to be announced. But be sure of this: life in Herefordshire is about to get a lot grimmer.