Labour’s job losses rap

Coun Clive Grunshaw: kick on Canatxx forever
Coun Clive Grunshaw: kick on Canatxx forever

WYRE COUNCIL has been accused of ‘gloating’ over job losses – by one of its own members.

Opposition Labour group leader Clive Grunshaw labelled Wyre Council chiefs ‘insensitive’ to celebrate putting council employees out of a job.

It came as the council announced it had made savings of £2.8m in the last five years without reducing front-line services.

A council press release revealed a number of staffing restructures, including a cull of senior managers and changes to working practises had led to the savings.

But Coun Grunshaw said all councils have managed to make savings in ‘difficult’ times.

He said: “It is insensitive and invidious to be celebrating putting hard-working council employees out of a job.

“It is also disingenuous to claim all front line services have been maintained when Wyre Council have cut employees delivering much needed services such as fraud investigation and halving the number of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs).

“Clearly Wyre Council don’t count these as ‘front line’ yet they are much needed and much valued by Wyre residents.

“Moreover the successive senior management restructures can only be described as shambolic at best and time will only tell whether the present system will be able to deliver effective management – or will we see yet another restructure.“

Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Council said despite keeping redundancies to a minimum – the council made 29 redundancies in order to make the initial £2.8m savings – job losses were unavoidable.

He said: “We regret having to make these, but we have a duty to provide the best possible service and value for money to our customers.”

In June Wyre Council slammed accusations by Lancashire Police it had withdrawn the money they contribute towards PCSOs.

Council bosses said it had agreed to continue part-funding PCSOs throughout the borough from April 2011 to March 2013.

As revealed exclusively in the Courier last month the council is also looking at cuts in the leisure budget which could see the closure of Garstang Leisure Centre and transfer of leisure activities to Garstang High School and another, as yet un-named building in Garstang.