Quiet losses

The announcement yesterday of a reduction of 200 posts at Swindon Borough Council has received very little comment beyond the Adver and BBC articles that carried the story, and rightly so. Two hundred out of 4,500 jobs is less than 4.5%. Even if everyone worked from the age of eighteen to retirement without ever changing jobs, natural wastage in one year from just retirements would be almost 2.4% In the modern world where, even in the public sector, a ‘job for life’ is very much a thing of the past, unless these reductions are very concentrated it is difficult to see that there would be any need for compulsory redundancies. So Mr Small’s comment

I would be very surprised if they managed to shed these jobs with voluntary redundancies.

seems to be a very bad case of crying wolf. As for the comments of Ms Snelgrove, well where to start.

I am deeply disturbed that so many hard-working members of staff are threatened with redundancy and I question how the council can be more efficient by cutting jobs.

Well, no actually the council have said they will look at ‘remov[ing] posts which are currently vacant, and reduce the numbers of short-term contract staff.’ Redundancy is never pleasant for anyone (and having once worked for a company that shed 70% of its staff in one year I speak from personal experience), but this is more a case of ‘so few’ rather than ‘so many’. Ms Snelgrove also seems to have an over-inflated view of her own importance.

I am extremely surprised at this and there has been no discussion with the town’s MPs.

I can think of no reason why there should have been. For once, in comparison, Mr Wills’ comments seem quite rational!