There has been a proposal for a shared Human Resources (Personnel) service. Thanet would share services with Shepway (Folkestone), Dover and Canterbury Councils. The idea was that savings would be generated across the four Councils.
Part of the savings would have come from making staff redundant to provide one more centralised service. A good idea, just like commercial organisations rationalise their services.
I hear now from a source along the coast in East Kent that the shared service will not be making any savings. There will now be no further savings for the first 2 years of the project. This will mean Thanet and the 3 other Councils will have additional costs of at least £65,000/year.
So £130,000 in Thanet but over half a million across East Kent as it is £130,000 for each Council totalling £520,000. The costs come from moving to Dover, and having to pay staff compensation and extra travelling allowances. This is a kick in the teeth to Thanet Council employees. Not only are they losing jobs to Dover, but they are also facing redundancy. They are accepting a pay award which is less than inflation hoping that fewer jobs will go. They then find there are no savings and the extra costs mean more jobs will be at risk.
I understand that when this was raised with Cllr. Sandy Ezekiel Leader of Thanet Council his response was to panic and blame it on the government. This is an internal management matter. Either he or his staff are responsible, or he needs to find out quick who from Dover, Folkestone and Canterbury has screwed up, and explain publicly so that all those staff who fear losing their jobs, so they know what happened.
He needs to stop saying that this is the fault of a government giving less money, when the facts are Thanet has had more money. I will repeat again that since 1997 the extra funding is an increase of 39% in REAL terms. That is money the granted by central government has kept place with inflation since 1997, and in ADDITION there has been an extra £39, for every £100 of Council expenditure.
That’s why hundreds of other authorities have just had far lower increases in Council Tax than Thanet District Council. We have one of the highest increases in the country because of mismanagement, and a blame culture from Thanet's political leadership.