Council refusing to rule out dismissals

DMBC chief Executive Robert Vincent. Picture: Marie Caley D2524MC
DMBC chief Executive Robert Vincent. Picture: Marie Caley D2524MC

OUTGOING chief executive Rob Vincent has refused to rule out compulsory redundancies after confirming another 700 staff are set to be culled from Doncaster Council.

The authority must make a further £43 million of savings over the next three years following the huge cuts in local government funding.

And it means more job losses, just months after 700 employees left the council in the first wave of cuts, are inevitable.

Mr Vincent will leave his post when the 15-month fixed term contract he was handed by the Government to turn the failing authority around comes to an end in the autumn.

But one of his final tasks will be asking staff, who have recently been balloted for strike action by union bosses, to again consider taking voluntary redundancy over the next few months.

Mr Vincent said: “The council has faced making £71 million worth of savings over four years and it is inevitable the cuts will continue to affect staff.

“Staffing levels have been already been reduced by around 700 through voluntary redundancies and natural wastage.

“At this stage it’s hard to put a figure on next year’s staffing reductions but I’d estimate it will need to be a similar number.

“First we’ll be asking any staff who haven’t already taken redundancy if their position has changed. Then we may have to consider compulsory redundancies.”

Another of Mr Vincent’s final tasks will be helping the process of finding a new chief executive to continue leading the council’s recovery.

He believes whoever the Government appoints in the role, set to be advertised this summer, will join an authority which has improved considerably since his arrival last July.

Mr Vincent said: “The first level of Doncaster’s recovery was to simply get the council operating properly.

“It’s been a very challenging period and we’ve been dealing with those challenges as you would expect a well governed council to do.

“It doesn’t mean there aren’t political tensions around but it’s about getting through those to sensible outcomes for the good of the town.

“On that level Doncaster is streets ahead of where it was last year in my view.”

Mayor on council’s progress Page 18