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Sandwell Council spends £5m on staff redundancies in one year

By Richard Guttridge | Sandwell | Politics | Published:

More than £5 million was spent making workers at a council redundant in one year – with more job cuts on the way.

Sandwell Council House

Sandwell Council axed 131 jobs in 2017/18 with another 35 to go over the next 12 months.

The decision to terminate workers’ contracts, blamed on the ‘difficult economic climate’, cost the council £5.6 million.

Another £2 million will be spent trimming the workforce during 2018/19.

The council has been scaled down massively over the last six years, with more than 1,000 jobs going amid budget cuts from the Government.

But getting rid of staff has left bosses having to pay costly severance packages.

It means the council has now spent around £25 million on cutting staff since 2012.

Council leader Steve Eling has bemoaned cuts in funding from the Government and has insisted difficult decisions have had to be made to protect frontline services.

The authority said ‘agreements’ were in place for 35 members of staff to leave before next April.

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A report said: “The council terminated the contracts of a number of employees in 2017/18 to meet the ongoing challenges of the difficult economic climate and budget reductions.

“In total 131 employees left the council’s employment during the year incurring liabilities of £5.597m.

"There are also agreements in place for a further 35 employees to leave the council during 2018/19 at an estimated cost of £1.940m.

"A provision has therefore been made for future and outstanding termination benefit costs which are expected to be incurred in 2018/19.”

The latest round of jobs cuts at Sandwell Council come after 87 workers left in 2016/17.

Bosses said it had managed to come to agreements with outgoing workers and none of these were compulsory redundancies

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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