Redundancies possible as Islington and Camden Councils join forces

Cllr Hull said it is necessary to combine at a time when council funding is being "cut to the bone"

Cllr Hull said it is necessary to combine at a time when council funding is being "cut to the bone" - Credit: Archant

Up to 50 jobs in IT and tech at Islington Council are in doubt.

It comes after Islington and Camden Councils announced plans on Thursday to combine its ICT services by April next year.

Cllr Andy Hull, Islington’s executive member for finance and performance, said: “It is too early to say whether there would be any compulsory redundancies, but the model we hope to move to would include up to 50 fewer posts across both councils than we have now.

“If the proposals are approved, we would implement this new model over the course of 18 months. During that time, some of those staff that would be affected will get new jobs, retire, or move to other roles within either council which will minimise the impact.

“Staff will be closely involved in the detailed design of the new structure.”

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But Lib Dem Terry Stacy, former leader of the council, which is now under Labour control, said uncertainty could damage staff morale: “The council vagueness about possible job losses and compulsory redundancies will demoralise staff at the worst possible time, as a new service is being developed.”

Both councils currently employ 300 ICT staff between them. The combined service has been proposed to save the two authorities – which have history of collaborating in public health and internal audit services – £4m a year.

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As a result of Government cuts, both are required to save £185m between them in time for the 2018/19 financial year.

Cllr Hull added: “Islington and Camden Councils are coming together to harness digital technology so that we can deliver services in a way that both suits local people and saves us precious money, at a time when the government continues to cut inner-city councils to the bone.

“It’s a good example of how, in the face of unprecedented challenges, we are innovating and coming up with genuinely transformative solutions.”

A Camden Council decision on whether to go ahead with the proposals was scheduled to be made at a cabinet meeting last night.

Islington Council is set to make its decision at a meeting of the executive on Thursday, September 24.

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