Apparently we are going to learn about the fate of the Comms Team today at my council – although I won’t work here for much longer as my last day is Friday. People are noticeably nervous about their roles, and who can blame them with all these stories about council redundancies.
While I think that yes, we need to streamline some of the bloated mess that a lot of councils have grown to, I really think that the government is naive in thinking that they will automatically reduce the management. Most places are looking at closing libraries and other frontline services and reducing free services (such as free swims) for kids and the elderly. This means frontline redundancies – you know the people who collect the litter and look after your parents in a care home. Gone. They weren’t paid very much to begin with and management (including our management) have decided they like being senior managers with a fat salary too much to give it up.
This is really a management fail. And this kind of thing happens in most places, except I do think that the private sector tends to axe management more readily as they have shareholders to answer to. Councils don’t tend to answer to anyone – if you can’t afford it, you have to accept council services rather than go elsewhere.
The government fail is really a system fail – and damn, I hate saying that as blaming the Tories is my new favourite hobby. Those who get more funding will be adversely affected when the funding goes. Those not needing funding can’t have any money taken away from them as that’s what they earn from Council Tax and paid-for services. So while it’s vastly unfair that Richmond is cutting 4% of their budget and my council is cutting 8.9%, the only way for us to even it up is to make them stop charging for services or for us to start. Guess which will happen.
Anyway, we learn what will happen at 2pm. I’m sure I’ll do an update as I have a feeling most Comms Teams will be facing similar issues if they work in the public sector.