Redundancies likely as district council looks to cut costs

AVDC offices
AVDC offices

Aylesbury Vale District Council has warned redundancies are likely as it looks to save millions of pounds.

The news comes in a report that was discussed by the council’s cabinet last week, and will be debated by all members at their meeting today.

The report says that over the past six years AVDC has managed to save £14 million ‘despite losing 60% of the government grant’.

It says that savings have been made in a number of ways, including successfully relaunching the website and 15,000 residents signing up for an online account.

In December 2015 the authority created Vale Commerce Ltd, with the aim of ‘generating a substantial income stream’.

The report says the council needs to save £5million but that extra money it generates can soften the blow.

Giving an example of how this could be achieved, the authority makes an ‘assumption’ that £2.5million can be generated from the business venture which includes a broadband service, and subscription service Limecart.

Under this example, £2.5m would need to be saved from the wage bill, equivalent to around 60 full-time staff.

The report read: “AVDC not only needs to transform its commercial and business operations, it needs to develop its people to enable them to work effectively in a commercial way.

“In January 2016, the authority implemented an organisation restructure to an interim starting point for the business reviews and commercial activity to follow.”

The report added: “These changes are a vital part of developing the organisation of the future – without the right organisational capability and culture we will not be able to implement our commercial development and business improvement programme.”

The report says that the staffing review will affect all workers up to the level of sector lead.

It says that all staff and unions are being fully engaged in the process.

But while the council says that ‘natural wastage’ and voluntary redundancies will be the first port of call, it also warned that compulsory redundancies may be on the cards for some.