£1.75million on ‘golden handshakes’ across North Devon and Torridge
14:54 06 August 2014
District councils and healthcare trust shell out over £1million on 61 job losses.
THREE of the region’s biggest employers spent a total of £1.75million on 61 ‘golden handshakes’ in the last three years.
Figures obtained by the Gazette show redundancy payouts since 2011 from Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, North Devon Council, and Torridge District Council.
North Devon Council came out on top, paying out a total of £1.34million in 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 on 29 job losses.
The healthcare trust paid out £339,978 on 17 redundancies during the same period, and Torridge shelled out £75,614 on 15 departures.
North Devon Council leader Brian Greenslade said the council had already saved £860,000 and anticipated saving an extra £833,000 a year through the cuts.
“Over the last three years, the council has been looking at how it can best make savings to reflect significant central government budget cuts,” he said.
“These savings, along with other efficiencies identified by the council, have helped us achieve a balanced budget, without seriously impacting on what we can provide for North Devon.”
The healthcare trust, which made 14 people redundant last year, said it tried to successfully redeploy staff to alternative employment where necessary.
Darryn Allcorn, interim director of workforce and organisational development, said: “We are one of the largest employers in Devon and pride ourselves on our history of keeping compulsory redundancies to an absolute minimum, especially bearing in mind the significant service changes we have delivered in recent years.”
But Torridge District Council’s head of paid services, Jenny Wallace, warned further government funding cuts could lead to more job losses.
She said: “The scale of on-going cuts in government funding over the next few years will mean, however, that we will have to cut even more jobs and at an even faster rate than to date.
“This will mean some redundancies - hopefully a majority of which will be voluntary - which will have to be paid for.”