Jobs losses at Huntingdon-based Luminus

NINETEEN maintenance jobs are to be lost at Huntingdon-based social landlord Luminus next month as part of an efficiency drive. The redundancies will reduce the company s 333-strong workforce by around five per cent, chief executive Chan Abraham told The

NINETEEN maintenance jobs are to be lost at Huntingdon-based social landlord Luminus next month as part of an efficiency drive.

The redundancies will reduce the company's 333-strong workforce by around five per cent, chief executive Chan Abraham told The Hunts Post this week.

The company, which acquired Huntingdonshire District Council's housing stock almost 10 years ago for �67million, has begun consultations with affected employees and their representatives, with a view to losing the posts from February onwards. It will consider requests for voluntary severance, a spokesman said.

Mr Abraham points out that the group has historically employed and trained its own maintenance staff, rather than using contractors as most other social landlords do.

He said: "In looking to the future we have been listening carefully to feedback from customers, who play an active part in helping reviewing services, and from our employees, and this has helped our thinking about aspects of reshaping the business.

"We have begun to talk with our employees about the best way to achieve a small staffing reduction in our maintenance service, aimed at increasing our efficiency, achieving more cost-effective surveying and increasing further the level of customer satisfaction when we are working in people's homes.

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"We are in a process of consultation with each individual affected as well as our employee representatives," he added. "We expect the process to be complete at the beginning of February 2010.

"Change can be unsettling, but is part of normal business activity and vital to enable progress to be made. We are working closely and sympathetically with everyone involved, seeking to ensure clear communications at all times and proper support and advice for individual staff members.

"We have kept all our people informed about these changes and they will continue to play an active part as we seek to take customer service to a premium brand level of satisfaction."

Mr Abraham said customer satisfaction was already at very high levels, and Luminus received regular accolades as an exemplary employer.

The re-shaping of the company followed investment of �100million in new and existing homes over the past decade, the company said.

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