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Friday, 22 August 2014

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80 jobs lost after Cumbria highways revamp

Eighty jobs have been lost as part of a restructuring of the county’s highways department.

Workers at six administration areas – including four in north and west Cumbria – were yesterday given details of the new staffing structure and how it will affect them. It is expected to be finalised and in place by the summer.

Before the restructuring there were 527 people employed in the highways and transport department of Cumbria County Council.

That figure has been reduced to 447 – leading to a loss of 80 posts.

About 400 workers took part in a 90-day consultation, and the council said it is now considering various applications for voluntary redundancy.

However, there will inevitably be compulsory redundancies but the council is optimistic these “will be minimal”.

The administration areas are currently based at Kingmoor Park in Carlisle, Lillyhall depot in Workington, Richmond House at Whitehaven, Skirsgill in Penrith, the county offices in Kendal and Nan Tait Centre in Barrow.

Three of these are expected to close down.

A spokeswoman for Cumbria County Council said: “The restructure of the county council’s highways and transport team is a process which began last year.

“It has involved continuous consultation with both staff and unions, and also the public via the budget consultation which detailed the savings that would be made through the restructure and which were agreed by full council in February.”

She continued: “The restructure was always going to be necessary following the transferal of Amey and Capita staff back into the county council, as there was some duplication of roles – mainly in ‘back office’ administration.

“The emphasis has always been to maintain frontline delivery and local responsiveness while providing the most efficient and effective back office support.”

The spokeswoman said that while the announcement was made to staff yesterday, the true impact would not be known for several months.

“We anticipate that any compulsory redundancies will be minimal,” she said.

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