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Letter of the week - 4 August

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Those taking voluntary redundancy deserve better.

LGC will donate £20 to the Lewis Jeynes Fund or to a charity of the letter writer’s choice.

Hampshire CC will not be alone in experiencing misguided media speculation about staff receiving generous pay-offs. At a time of unprecedented change, these staff are giving up their livelihoods for reasons personal to them, but the benefit to the county is that it very quickly gains a reduced pay bill and a major contribution to its budget reduction of £55m this year.

Money in Hampshire’s invest-to-save reserve was used to apply a voluntary redundancy policy. About 470 staff are leaving or have left us where clear savings could be made, with a further 231 applications under review. We have achieved our aim of keeping compulsory redundancy to a minimum, with only 45 to date.

These arrangements are not only reducing our running costs with the least impact on frontline services but our outlay of £7m is giving us a return on our investment that is exceptional, realising more than £36m, or £750,000 per month, over the next four years on senior management costs alone. Few financial returns could better that.

When staff leave, we lose the experience, expertise and knowledge that helped us become one of the best-performing councils in England. That’s why our staff deserve a more relevant tribute than some of the headlines we have seen.

Ken Thornber (Con), leader, Hampshire CC

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