Redundancies 'still to come'
A REDUNDANCY fund of £250k has been ring-fenced by the council as it prepares for further cutbacks.
The figure, found in the Royal Borough's latest service monitoring report presented to cabinet on Thursday last week, is part of a £860k pot taken from the council's capital funds for redundancies. The remaining £610k is being used for "known service changes".
Cabinet members praised the Royal Borough's report, which predicts an under-spend of at least £851k in the 2011/12 budget, which will be fed back into the reserves.
But Cllr Lynne Jones, of Old Windsor Residents' Association, told The Observer: "I think funding redundancies from capital and saying they will make the same amount back during the year is quite worrying. If they budget correctly, there shouldn't be a reason to save that money."
It is not clear which departments the redundancies will come from, but the results of a re-organisation of the Royal Borough's children's centres is expected to be announced today (Friday).
Although the council has recommended all centres remain open, it suggested merging management roles to reduce the £1.4m annual cost.
Cllr Jones added: "I think frontline services are now being hit. It might only be a minor impact, but it is still an impact nonetheless. There are already people who have not been replaced."
The council made 122 people redundant between February 2011 and February 2012 and Ian Trenholm, the Royal Borough's chief executive, warned at the time there would be more redundancies to come.
Jo Porter, Unison branch secretary for the Royal Borough, said: "It comes as no surprise to us that there is a provision for future redundancies over and above those that we have already been notified of. We have been working hard with our members to assist them through the traumatic process of being made redundant."
Cllr David Burbage, leader of the Royal Borough, oversaw a third consecutive reduction in council tax this year. He declined to respond to Cllr Jones' comments but said the future of the children's' centres would be made clear today.
l For a decision on the future of children's centres, visit www.windsorobserver.co.uk this afternoon.