No redundancies but more jobs will be shared under West Oxfordshire partnership with Gloucestershire councils

The Oxford Times: Deputy council leader Mark Booty Deputy council leader Mark Booty

JOB roles could be gradually lost as part of a partnership scheme involving four councils to save £55m over the next decade.

West Oxfordshire District Council’s cabinet yesterday agreed to share services with Cheltenham Borough Council, Forest of Dean District Council and Cotswold District Council.

Councillors approved the 2020 Vision for Joint Working report, which will see the councils using a jointly-owned authority company set up to provide services.

Deputy leader Mark Booty said there would be no redundancies but retiring staff may be replaced through job-sharing roles instead.

He said: “In a council we have 10 per cent staff turnover for people going into the private sector because we’re a great training ground.

“If a person leaves and someone can do it as a job share rather than be replaced immediately from the outside then that is what we will do. So there’s not a job loss as such but there’s a post reduction.”

Mr Booty said staff were already prepared for the changes after pooling some resources with Cotswold District Council over the past five years.

Services that will now be shared include legal advice, management, back office support, waste collection, environment services, and auditing. Staff taking on extra responsibilities may be given pay rises to compensate.

Mr Booty said: “Staff have known about the direction of travel for five years. We’ve told them and job losses are minimal.

“The only personal tragedies are compulsory redundancies but this also means a cash spend.

“I can’t stress the importance of making evolutionary changes rather than making them overnight.”

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