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EXCLUSIVE: 65 jobs to go at Havering Council if £4m proposal to merge back-office services with Newham Council goes ahead

PUBLISHED: 17:46 19 November 2013 | UPDATED: 17:46 19 November 2013

The plans will go to Havering's cabinet tomorrow night

The plans will go to Havering's cabinet tomorrow night

Archant

An estimated 65 jobs could go at Havering Council across services like payroll, HR and recruitment if a deal with Newham is voted through cabinet this week.

Havering expects to save £4m on back office services – but anticipates spending up to a quarter of that on redundancy payments – if senior councillors agree to merge some workforces for the two councils.

Workers would still be employed by their respective councils, but could be asked to work in either or both of the boroughs.

That could mean people being paid different salaries to do the same job on the same site – but Havering has been advised this is legal.

Andrew Blake-Herbert, director of resources, admitted the situation of different workers being on different wages could pose a “management challenge” – but could not say what the difference in pay rates, broadly thought to favour Newham Council, actually was.

Councillors were called to a last-minute briefing at last week’s governance committee meeting to hear the plans, which will go to cabinet tomorrow and full council next week.

But Mr Blake-Herbert told the Recorder the plans hadn’t been rushed.

“It’s been on the forward plan, and we were aiming to take it up in October,” he said. “But we didn’t quite get over the finish line getting the report cleared.”

He said delays in getting the proposal agreed between two councils had held up the report.

If the plan is signed off, the redundancies and efficiency savings will come into effect in April.

Check back at www.romfordrecorder.co.uk to find out the result of Wednesday night’s cabinet meeting.


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