Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Neath Port Talbot gets Macho

News on the BBC that Neath Port Talbot has warned in a letter sent to the unions on Friday that it may dismiss its 7,000 workers and re-employ them on new terms without agreement on savings.

The council is of course a Labour Council, but I wonder who is responsible for such a letter. If it the proposal had been discussed in the council chamber or in committee then surely the opposition councillors would have (even if it was opportunist) kicked up a fuss?

Has this plan just come from Human Resources and are they making up council policy?

Neath Port Talbot has also said it will reduce its workforce by about 750 full-time posts through natural wastage, voluntary redundancies and service changes.

It is clear from this example that we are going to see major redundancies and wage cut in our local authorities. If there was just a very low average of 500 jobs in each of our Welsh Councils this would mean 11000 jobs throughout Wales and together with wage reductions and cuts in shift allowances this, does not bode well for the future.

This does not include the prospect of another reorganisation of local government in Wales as preposed by Tory guru Professor Dylan Jones-Evans which in itself will see major jobs cuts.

The Con-Lib government has already frozen any rate rises in England and clearly expects the Welsh assembly to follow suit.

The lack of funding to local government has been a major problem under successive Labour and Conservative governments who have rejected the ideas of a local income tax and still promote a rates system which is expensive to implement and not regressive. Of course Parties at Westminster are not really concerned who runs local authorities as Margret Thatcher effectively neutered them in the 80's. Who can point at a progressive council today who could seek to make public transport affordable for all through the rates?

The current recession has given all aspects of government the excuseto make cuts  that they have alway sort to implement.,and it is difficult to argue that we need to make savings. But one suspects that the highly paid executives of local authorities (who even if they are dismissed for whatever reason)  leave the Council  with huge payouts who are making such macho threats to its workforce will make much of a sacrifice.

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