More than 100 Southend Council staff opt for redundancy

More than 100 Southend City Council staff have opted for voluntary redundancy it has been revealed.

Following a staff consultation, 108 or five per cent of the authority’s staff are happy to receive a redundancy package.

The figure was revealed at a policy and resources meeting on Thursday.

Speaking after the meeting, council leader Tony Cox said: “I was quite surprised at the large number. We’ll now go through and look at those posts that we can lose and those we can’t afford to lose and affordability. A lot of them are over 55 and it will be a significant cost. However, by making savings now you take out you take out those costs in future years.”

The council currently has an in-year budget deficit of £10.7million and is looking at all its options to reduce that figure.

A report to the committee, said: “The council’s financial situation remains challenging, and continued urgent action needs to be taken. It is in the best interests of the council for all officers and elected members to work closely and collaboratively together at pace to control all areas of identified overspending and to ensure that any adverse variances are brought back as close as possible to the approved budget for 2023/24.

“Without this collaborative action, this in-year pressure could continue to increase the forecast budget gap for 2024/25 and the future. The council has a statutory requirement to approve a balanced budget and set the council tax level for 2024/25 by March 11, 2024.”

Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter