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Dozens of staff with “the utmost commitment” to Cheshire East’s youngsters are at risk of losing their jobs following a £1.2 million budget cut.

The future of around 140 employees is under pressure after Cheshire East Council announced it is set to redesign its children’s centres and prevention service at a scrutiny committee meeting on Monday.

Eight managers are expected to go by September, along with 21 full-time equivalent members of support staff – but with employees facing the prospect of reapplying for their jobs this summer, around 140 out of 270 members of staff are affected.

Cllr Dorothy Flude, Labour member for Crewe South, has criticised Cheshire East Council for placing staff under more stress at a time when the council is spending £152,460 on bringing consultants in to improve its workplace culture.

She said: “Obviously it is disappointing – particularly at a time when staff are under considerable pressure with a rising caseload and more work.

“Our staff have the upmost commitment to young people in the borough. That commitment goes without saying, and many members of staff work long hours that they don’t get back because of that commitment. They sit at their desks and they don’t get a lunch break.

“CEC is going to pay more than £150,000 for Sticky Change to come in and look at the culture of the council, to make sure that staff are protected, but at the same time you have got a reorganisation that adds pressure to staff.

“I’ve seen these reorganisations before. I was here when CEC was formed, when we lost lots of really skilled staff. People say we have not recovered from that – and we are about to go through it again.”

Members of the children and families overview and scrutiny committee were told that the budget cut was not the only reason for the restructure, as the council looks to refocus its children and families support service.

Early years provision and children’s centres are to be brought under one management structure, and the council hopes the reorganisation can help those teams work closer together and ensure resources are used ‘more effectively’.

Cllr Jos Saunders, cabinet member for children and families, said: “The first few years of any child’s life are critical for their development and we have a firm commitment to provide every child the best possible start.

“Restructuring our teams will allow the council to continue to focus on providing earlier intervention for all our children and families, particularly those with complex needs.

“This approach requires the service – and the professionals within it – to work differently so that we can support our local communities to improve health and wellbeing outcomes.

“By going through a full and thorough staff consultation process, we aim to make efficiency savings of £1.2 million. This proposal was consulted on as part of the council’s budget-setting process and agreed at full council last month.”

Staff were informed about the restructuring process earlier this week, before an internal consultation was launched yesterday.

5 Comments

  1. So why are you spending over 150000 on anti bullying in the work place from an outside agency ,you lot really are unbelievable.

  2. More cuts. What is Cheshire East doing with the huge increase in Council Tax it has received in the last few years due to the amount of new houses in the area. It’s not as though all the new houses are on the lowest bands either. The increase in tax is way above the increase in costs to service the extra population.

    • Superdanny says:

      Well, the extra council tax is probably spent on fact finding missions (or in other words, jollies), in other countries!!

      • Sinead Wheeler says:

        Leader of Cheshire East, Cllr Rachel Bailey, just back from her ‘awareness raising’ trip to the French Riviera – paid for by us. She + entourage went last year too, and have vowed to be back again in future years.

    • Really? Do you have any figures to back that up or are you just There may be more houses paying council tax but the council has also had a massive cut in the amount of money received from central government.

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