Savings in Hull and North Lincolnshire

May 08, 2012 11:30 AM

No sooner had the votes been counted and the lights turned off at City Hall, Hull City Council leader, Cllr Steve Brady made an announcement on BBC Radio Humberside. He announced a reorganisation of management, with immediate effect, and stated the council had gone into a 30-day consultation with senior management and were looking for a minimum of £1m savings. He also added:
Considering the number of jobs that have gone it doesn’t justify the number of management positions there are. Although we have some very good managers we do have a top-heavy structure and it has to be addressed. The changes will happen and will happen before the summer recess. I’ve said all along the structure is top-heavy and now we are doing something about it.

This is welcome news, although as ever the devil is always in the detail, and Cllr Brady has not given us any further details other than what he announced. He has said in the past that he is in negotiations with the unions on other matters such as reducing the amount paid to staff in mileage rates. In our report last year, we revealed Hull City Council pays some staff 65p per mile for using their cars on council business - 20p higher than than HMRC's recommended rate of 45p. This consultation has been going on for almost a year, and yet despite promises that a deal will be announced shortly, nothing has been forthcoming.

The reason though may be down to Unison's intransigence. North Lincolnshire Council, which reduced mileage rates for councillors to 45p per mile last May, are seeking to do the same for staff. Instead Unison are threatening industrial action if the council pushes forward with its plans. The union even says staff will be subsidising the council if rates are lowered to 45p.

I agree with the sentiments of Brigg and Goole MP, Andrew Percy. He said the union had to "get real". He also added:
I hope union members will ignore the union’s leadership who seem intent on an argument. At the end of the day local Government is strapped for cash and they either make savings or they will have to sack more people.

The reason the Government awarded councils a grant equivalent of a 2.5 per cent rise in council tax was to cushion the blow and give them another year to find efficiency savings. It looks like both Hull and North Lincolnshire councils are trying to do that in ways we have identified. Local Government is top heavy with too many management layers, and they can be reduced without affecting front-line services. Generous mileage rates cannot be justified. All we ask for is fairness for both staff and taxpayers.

Hopefully these savings will be made soon, and the unions will not inflict misery on ordinary members of the public by taking industrial action.

 No sooner had the votes been counted and the lights turned off at City Hall, Hull City Council leader, Cllr Steve Brady made an announcement on BBC Radio Humberside. He announced a reorganisation of management, with immediate effect, and stated the council had gone into a 30-day consultation with senior management and were looking for a minimum of £1m savings. He also added:
Considering the number of jobs that have gone it doesn’t justify the number of management positions there are. Although we have some very good managers we do have a top-heavy structure and it has to be addressed. The changes will happen and will happen before the summer recess. I’ve said all along the structure is top-heavy and now we are doing something about it.

This is welcome news, although as ever the devil is always in the detail, and Cllr Brady has not given us any further details other than what he announced. He has said in the past that he is in negotiations with the unions on other matters such as reducing the amount paid to staff in mileage rates. In our report last year, we revealed Hull City Council pays some staff 65p per mile for using their cars on council business - 20p higher than than HMRC's recommended rate of 45p. This consultation has been going on for almost a year, and yet despite promises that a deal will be announced shortly, nothing has been forthcoming.

The reason though may be down to Unison's intransigence. North Lincolnshire Council, which reduced mileage rates for councillors to 45p per mile last May, are seeking to do the same for staff. Instead Unison are threatening industrial action if the council pushes forward with its plans. The union even says staff will be subsidising the council if rates are lowered to 45p.

I agree with the sentiments of Brigg and Goole MP, Andrew Percy. He said the union had to "get real". He also added:
I hope union members will ignore the union’s leadership who seem intent on an argument. At the end of the day local Government is strapped for cash and they either make savings or they will have to sack more people.

The reason the Government awarded councils a grant equivalent of a 2.5 per cent rise in council tax was to cushion the blow and give them another year to find efficiency savings. It looks like both Hull and North Lincolnshire councils are trying to do that in ways we have identified. Local Government is top heavy with too many management layers, and they can be reduced without affecting front-line services. Generous mileage rates cannot be justified. All we ask for is fairness for both staff and taxpayers.

Hopefully these savings will be made soon, and the unions will not inflict misery on ordinary members of the public by taking industrial action.

 

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