Welwyn Hatfield Council set to cut jobs in housing department

PUBLISHED: 16:36 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:36 20 November 2017

Welwyn Hatfield Council will cut several jobs in its housing department

Welwyn Hatfield Council will cut several jobs in its housing department

Archant

Borough council employees were left in tears after discovering over a dozen positions are set to be axed.

Housing department staff have been told their livelihoods are at risk as part of an ongoing restructure, which follows the housing trust’s responsibilities being brought in-house last year.

A borough council spokeswoman said: “We are proposing a maximum reduction of 13 full time equivalent posts, although this will not be finalised until all feedback from the consultation has been reviewed.

“The council is committed to minimising the number of job losses through offering a variety of options for those affected, and support is in place for staff as the consultation progresses.”

Although the council could axe a maximum of 13 full time equivalent posts, in some cases a position may be covered by more than one employee, so job cuts could be higher – depending on whether people accept being relocated.

A council source told the WHT: “They are all very unhappy, some of them were tearful and crying.

“They are upset with how it was dealt with in 15 minutes, their future life was spelt out to them, and just before Christmas too.”

The cuts follow a one per cent rent reduction for social housing tenants introduced by central Government last year.

It is too early to say how many jobs will be lost or how much it will cost in redundancy money, the council spokeswoman added.

Labour borough councillor Max Holloway said: “It’s good that the council acknowledges that things need to change, but I struggle to see how losing so many experienced and dedicated officers is going to help.

“This will inevitably have a real impact on the service residents get and depend on, and people will rightly be worried that this is just more cost cutting.”

Welwyn Hatfield Council’s spokeswoman stressed it is committed to delivering the best service and hopes the changes will enable more face-to-face contact with tenants, better use of technology and improved accessibility to advice.

She added: “By reviewing how we deliver our services and changing the way we work, we could save around £184k each year, helping off-set the impact of the one per cent rent reduction introduced by central Government in 2016, and provide a more efficient housing service to all tenants.”

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