Dozens of jobs are set to be at City Hall as part of a “restructuring” being briefed to staff today. GLA chief executive Leo Boland is understood to have told staff there will be a “loss of no less than 50 jobs” but that the organisation is trying to “minimise” compulsory redundancies.
The cuts are the result of a decision to reorganise the existing 36 teams to 17 and the deletion of vacant posts but are to be offset by the creation of 97 new positions.
Public sector union UNISON, which had earlier suggested there could be as many as 100 jobs lost, claimed the scale of job losses will “silence” the Greater London Authority, predicting “a team of only a few hundred workers will struggle to serve seven and a half million people.”
There are currently around 800 staff positions at City Hall, although some of these have been vacant since before last May’s elections.
Staffing levels within the GLA were a major theme in last year’s elections and in September Mayor Johnson set out his vision of a “better value” City Hall. Following the freezing of the GLA Council Tax Precept for 2009/10 a number of Conservative Assembly Members have pushed for reductions in future years.
As details of the cuts emerged, Green Party Assembly Member Darren Johnson commented: “I am concerned about whether the Mayor could really deliver his statutory duties on the environment. Under the previous administration City Hall had been at the forefront of new environmental initiatives but will this be able to continue if the GLA’s environment team is slashed in half?”
Mike Tuffrey, leader of the London Assembly Liberal Democrat Group, said “the real test of these savings is whether City Hall continues to provide effective strategic government for London.”
“If staff with valuable expertise in the environment or housing and replaced by expensive consultants then the Mayor is not making real savings but actually selling Londoners short.”
“It is also really disappointing that a year into office Boris Johnson has made so little progress in cutting duplication in the services across police, fire, transport and the London Development Agency.”