Barnet Council to axe senior staff in wage bill cut

Barnet Council is set to make new year redundancies among its senior staff but says there will be no repeat of the £1million “golden goodbyes” it paid out last time around.

The authority has finalised a second senior management review almost 18 months after six executives were axed as the council looked to reduce its wage bill.

Managers have been told they must reapply for their jobs as the authority reduces its in-house team from 81 to 48, though some posts will be outsourced to Capita which recently won a contract to run the council’s back office services.

The news comes in the same week Barnet Council was criticised for paying out large sums to six outgoing executives during the last restructuring 18 months ago.

Local government minister Brandon Lewis accused local authorities, including Barnet, of showing a lack of respect to taxpayers with the “eyewatering” amounts being paid out in redundancy settlements.

Information compiled by The Telegraph showed councils paid 135 executives between £100,000 and £420,000 in redundancy packages over the past two years.

Barnet Council was among one of the highest payers thanks to its last management review in which it handed almost £1million in redundancy payouts to six executives.

The authority says the move saved more than £1.5million from its budget and that it was “honouring contractual terms” with the pay offs.

The highest sum was given to Brian Reynolds, a former director of environment and development, who received £280,485 on top of his £107,000 salary and pension payments.

A council spokesman said staff contracts had been amended since the last review and redundancy packages would be “less generous” this time around.

The current restructure is expected to reduce the wage bill by more than £1million and further details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

A Barnet Council spokesman said: “We’re undertaking this review as we want to make sure we have the right skill set among our management team going forward.

“No redundancies have been announced yet but all staff have been told to reapply for their jobs.”

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