Council redundancy payments jump by 67 per cent in the last year

The East London Advertiser has learned that council redundancy payments went up by 67 per cent last year.

Sixty non-school staff were made redundant between November 2009 and last month which is ten less than in the preceding twelve months.

But the amount awarded on average to departing staff under the council’s severance scheme shot up from �14,673 to �24,583.

In total, �1.475m was awarded from November 2009 to November 2010 compared with �1.023m in the previous year.

The communities, localities and culture directorate was worst hit by redundancies in 2009-10 with 21; 15 were made in resources, 12 in the chief executive’s office, six in the children, schools and families directorate and six in development and renewal.

A council spokesman was unwilling to say how many payments since November 2009 were made as compromise agreements, by which a severance settlement is often reached as long as a worker does not pursue an employment tribunal claim.

An �8 million reserve fund has been set aside by Tower Hamlets council to deal with redundancies brought on by Government funding cuts.

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With 500 jobs set to go by April 2012, cabinet members decided on December 1 to hold back funds to account for ‘contingencies’ arising from the Government’s Spending Review.

A council spokeswoman said: “We are working to ensure that redundancies will be in the order of 200 posts out of the 500 and we would want as many of these as possible to be voluntary.”

The council could borrow against its capital budget from central government to fund redundancies as well.

A spokeswoman said a decision would be made once the full extent of cut backs is known.