Cash strapped council enacts recruitment freeze to help balance the books (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Cash strapped council enacts recruitment freeze to help balance the books
Wiltshire Council has initiated a recruitment freeze in a bid to save cash.
The council will not fill vacant positions until March next year, when the policy will be reviewed. The policy means that jobs will remain empty rather than be made redundant.
Exceptions will be made in some cases for jobs in key areas, but staff will have to provide a business case to a Recruitment Approval Panel of three senior managers to persuade them of the necessity to hire someone.
Job vacancies currently being advertised or processed will be allowed to continue. Since April 2009 the council has made 669 staff redundant in a bid to find savings.
The council needs to find savings of £32.6m in this financial year following budget cuts. It has 4,000 full time equivalent staff and expects to save £90,000 in recruiting costs from the move alone but hasn’t been able to say how much the change will save overall.
A Wiltshire Council spokesman said: “As part of Wiltshire Council’s drive to be more efficient and protect its front-line services, a recruitment freeze has been put in place.
"This key action will ensure that where posts are critical to delivering services that support the council’s key priorities, such as protecting the most vulnerable and boosting the local economy, exceptions will be approved.
“Our overall staff turnover is 11.3 per cent, and it is anticipated the management of those vacancies will produce significant savings from this year’s budget. However, we are unable to predict exact savings as the turnover figure is subject to change.
“It is vital that the council continues to make efficiencies so that resources can be targeted to protect the high-quality services that are critical to local people, communities and businesses.”
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