Hundreds of jobs to go at council

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more than 260 Doncaster Council staff jobs are set to be scrapped under cut-throat modernisation plans.

The authority is looking at cutting 266 posts with another 337 staff transferring within the council under plans to modernise the ways people contact the council.

Chief executive Jo Miller said the council was looking at changing the way it worked to allow people to report problems using websites and social media, rather then traditional written forms and phone calls.

It would mean some jobs that would previously have been involved in passing on information internally would go.

She said: “We are doing what a lot of organisations have done a long time ago in modernising the way we get a response to issues that people want us to address.

“It is about as far as possible getting a first-time fix to issues. A lot of what we do is sorting out potholes, street lights and benefits queries.

“Someone takes the call, passes it to someone else and it goes through a system before it is sorted out.

“We are wanting to modernise how we work and reduce costs. There are a whole number of jobs which might be affected.

“Already people are accessing services more via smart phones, social media and the web. Everyone’s jobs are changing because the world is changing.”

Ms Miller said she could not give any guarantees that more jobs would not go in future, but said the council would try to avoid compulsory redundancies and would look for volunteers.

Senior managers have already been told about the plans and consultation is due to start soon.

Ms Miller said claims by the GMB union that more than 2,000 council workers had already lost their jobs were misleading. She said around 1,000 of those positions had been staff transfers.

Jim Board, Doncaster branch secretary of the council workers’ union Unison, said he was planning meetings to discuss the latest jobs blow. He said: “This is far-reaching and does not just affect customer services staff.

“We are concerned it is going to affect low paid and overwhelmingly female workers.”

Doncaster Council is having to make £70 million of savings following Government cuts.