Another broken Labour promise by Southampton's new Council Administration as a hit list of 240 jobs is revealed, ahead of the draft city budget announcement next month.
Labour went into the local elections in May saying there would be no council job cuts as a result of their new staff redeployment model based on one adopted in Sunderland. They renamed this approach the Solent model and described it as their plan B for the council. The scheme would have seen the staff redeployment period extended to 12 months. Immediately after the election this was watered down to 8 months and today the final scheme will be agreed by the Labour Cabinet - just 4 months. At the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Management panel meeting on Thursday Labour admitted that they hadn't researched the policy properly and upon taking control of the council they realised that it was totally unaffordable. They also admitted that the policy was only intended to last one year to get them through the election period and was then due to be scrapped anyway.
However the biggest bombshell was revealed at Full Council on Wednesday and then clarified at the Overview and Scrutiny panel meeting the day after. Labour has been working on a secret hit list of staff who will be axed - all council staff on fixed, short term temporary contracts. The list of staff includes over a dozen bin men, library staff, sure start and nursery workers. These staff will receive no redeployment. Labour say that the union bosses have been working hand in glove with them on the issue. Not only is this a betrayal of City Council staff who Labour have misled it is very disrespectful and totally unprofessional for Labour to once again reveal job cuts in public before speaking with those involved. After leaking their summer mini budget to the media, Labour were rightly chastised for having Oaklands Swimming Pool staff first hear about their jobs on the radio. Now Labour have done it again, announcing 240 job cuts in the public meeting of the Full Council, before having the decency to speak with those affected, some of whom have been with the council for up to 7 years.
Labour are proving time again that they cannot be trusted in Southampton and that they were prepared to say anything before the elections in order to win power, but had no intention of keeping their promises once they got in. Will the the local union bosses do anything about it? No of course they won't because they are Labour Party people who represent their own interests and that of the Labour Party - jobs and services are not their priority and once again this is being shown to be true.