Six-figure redundancy pay-outs at Peterborough City Council included in £2.6m cost

Redundancy pay-outs of £2.6 million at Peterborough City Council included three which were more than £100,000.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 4:55 am

The cash-strapped authority made payments of £175,000, £146,000 and £106,000 in 2019/20, as well as 10 of £60,000 or more.

The council said the redundancies were needed to help balance its budget and that the pay-outs were “cost effective”.

However, it declined to reveal which individuals received the money, or which positions they held while in employment.

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Peterborough Town Hall
Peterborough Town Hall

The £2.6 million figure for redundancies compared to £900,000 the year before.

The council was given authorisation by the Government to borrow the money to make the redundancy payments, otherwise it would have been forced to use reserves or make substantial cuts.

As revealed by the Peterborough Telegraph earlier this week, since 2013/14 government funding to the authority has been reduced by around £58 million (more than 70 per cent).

And just in the past five years this has amounted to a real terms cut of more than 37 per cent.

The Peterborough Telegraph asked the council for the reasons behind the redundancies, whether the money was entitled under the individuals’ contracts, and which positions the individuals held.

A council spokesperson replied: “In order to deliver ongoing savings from 2020/21 the council launched a voluntary redundancy scheme in January 2020. As part of this the council will need to pay significant one-off redundancy and transformation costs.

“In the past, councils have been granted approval from government to use capital funding (borrowing) to fund revenue costs such as those associated with redundancy, known as a ‘capitalisation direction’.

“With the support of MPs Shailesh Vara and Paul Bristow the council asked for the power to be granted for 2019/20 and 2020/21. This was approved and the council received a capitalisation direction for these payments.

“All redundancy transactions are made subject to the council’s terms and conditions of employment including pension regulations. Including all contractual entitlements, the three largest transactions were for £175,0000, £146,000 and £106,000.

“We are unable to provide additional information as this would then identify individuals which is prohibited.

“All redundancies went through a panel to ensure that ongoing savings would be delivered and that the decision was cost effective.”