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County Hall sinecures questioned

June 25, 2014 8:14 AM

Two six-figure salaried jobs are set not to be replaced at Wiltshire Council and the Lib Dems are asking why. The two senior staff running the council's flagship campus transformation programme have both decided to quit the authority leaving the programme without any senior leadership.

The council's Conservative administration has announced they will be saving £225,000 a year by scrapping these posts and distributing the work amongst the three Corporate Directors.

Wiltshire Lib Dems are challenging the council to explain why these posts existed if they were not needed.

"Let's be clear about this", said Lib Dem leader Jon Hubbard. "These officers have not been made redundant or seen their posts scrapped through a corporate reorganization. They have decided to leave the county and the administration has decided to save an extra £225,000 by scrapping the posts.

"If we really don't need these staff then it really does beg the question of why we have been employing them.

"I have today written to Jane Scott asking her to use this additional funding that they have now found to keep our youth centres open across the county until new campus facilities are available, rather than close them all in October as is currently planned".


Here's Jon's letter to Scott:

Dear Jane
I note in today's briefing that has been issued that you are proposing to redistribute the roles and responsibilities of Mark Stone and Lucy Murray-Brown to other existing Associate and Corporate Directors in the council, thus achieving a saving of £225,000.
Whilst I am always pleased to see new savings being found that do not result in direct cuts to front-line services I am very worried that the administration feel that it is possible to simply redistribute these posts in this way and it does beg the question of why were we previously paying for these positions if these roles can be effectively carried out by other staff.
However, that decision has been made and we now have an additional saving of £225,000 that was not factored into this year's budget.
I am writing to you to ask you to use this funding to fund retaining professional Youth Workers to support the transition process from the closure of the current service until adequate volunteers or alterative provision has been found to meet the needs of young people in our communities.
There was one clear message that came from young people when they contributed to the consultation process run by the council, that more than anything they valued their youth workers and the supportive relationship that they have with them.
You now have the opportunity to positively respond to that feedback by young people and use this additional funding to keep these youth workers active in our communities.
I urge you to seize this opportunity and assure you of the support of the Liberal Democrat group should you wish to do so.
With kind regards
Cllr Jon Hubbard