Recently released papers to be considered by Gloucester City Council’s Cabinet reveal that the authority is planning to spend over £1.5 million to reconfigure the way it delivers services.
Last year the authority made 60 staff redundant saving £1.2 million. Labour Councillors have reacted with incredulity at the latest proposals.
Labour Leader, Councillor Terry Pullen (Lab. Moreland) said: “We clearly warned the Tories last year that they were cutting too many jobs too quickly without having thought through the consequences and that services would suffer. Unfortunately, we have been proved to be right.
Staffing resources have been cut to such an extent that the Council is struggling to deliver even basic services. The Tories are now running around like headless chickens employing consultants (Ignite) at great cost and desperately trying to figure out how to redesign services and processes so that beleaguered staff can cope with impossible pressures and workloads.
Having got rid of considerable expertise the Council now admits that it will have to recruit an additional 3 senior posts externally at cost of £150,000 as it doesn’t have the skills or experience in-house to deliver the service redesign it is attempting to introduce. In addition to this it is also proposed to recruit a further 6 staff to backfill for existing staff that will need to be trained as business analysts to deliver any new changes.
It doesn’t even have the money to pay for this and is having to use reserves and borrow money against hoped for future savings. Given the Council’s record of year on year overspending against budgets this is a highly risky gamble.
Frankly you couldn’t make it up. Any sensible organisation would have carried out this process first before changing the structure and making people redundant only to find they then can’t cope. Once again as with Amey and the reception closures the Tories failure to plan effectively is costing the taxpayer dear and it is the frontline delivery of public services that is suffering.”