Council morale plummets as cuts bite

PUBLIC spending cutbacks have impacted sharply on morale at Huntingdonshire District Council, with fewer than one-third of employees feeling secure in their jobs.

The proportion of staff expressing satisfaction with the council as their employer has plummeted to 55 per cent in 2012 from 79 per cent when the previous staff survey was carried out in 2009.

Nonetheless, 60 per cent of respondents still feel fulfilled in their jobs, and nearly three-quarters feel they enjoy a good work/life balance, and two-thirds still feel their work is valued (72 per cent in 2009).

But only 44 per cent feel their views are listened to, compared to 62 per cent in the 2009 survey.

The lack of confidence in job security is not surprising, given the reduction in Whitehall funding for local authorities and the 125 voluntary and compulsory redundancies the council made in the first year of its four-year austerity plan.

But the council’s cabinet has promised the remaining employees that no further wholesale redundancies are currently contemplated.

A paper to HDC’s employment panel this evening (Wednesday) says: “When considering the results, the effect of recent reductions in local government funding and a number of significant changes within the council should be taken into account.

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“The financial situation has made job security a much greater concern for employees than it was when the last survey was undertaken in 2009. similarly, reductions in staffing levels are likely to have had an impact on teams and individual employees.

The council has already outsourced its personnel function.