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140 council jobs at risk as authorities merge services
WORKERS at Oxfordshire County Council could be told to relocate to Hampshire or lose their jobs.
It is part of a shake-up at the county council which would save about £700,000 a year.
If the plans go ahead, large parts of the county council’s finance and human resources departments will be transferred to a business centre run by Hampshire County Council in Winchester.
Rodney Rose, Oxfordshire’s deputy leader, said: “There are a number of clear advantages to linking up with Hampshire, not least that such a partnership would lead to more seamless transitions. We now know that this proposal stacks up financially and would deliver the savings we must make while continuing to provide quality back-office services for our frontline teams.
“Cabinet will be asked to approve the proposal on Tuesday, and I am sure it will be fully debated by my cabinet colleagues then.”
About 140 Oxfordshire staff work in teams that would be incorporated into the Hampshire Integrated Business Centre and would be offered the chance to transfer to Hampshire County Council employment.
If staff choose to transfer to Winchester, they will be eligible for financial support for the relocation. If they choose not to transfer, the council has said it will do its best to redeploy them but some redundancies may be made.
In autumn 2013, the county council’s cabinet gave its approval for large parts of HR and finance to be outsourced to a national provider as part of its attempt to save £64m by 2018 because of government cuts. Since then Hampshire County Council approached the council to explore a potential partnership linked in with its IBC business centre, launched in April 2014.
The IBC delivers back office services to schools and public sector organisations.
Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue are set to join it during 2014.
If Oxfordshire’s cabinet decides to go ahead a full staff consultation will take place in the autumn.
The county council would join the IBC in 2015.
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