Concerns raised over proposal to ‘delete’ vacant council roles in waste and open spaces departments

Waste operatives

Councillors have raised concerns over proposals to delete job roles at the authority that have been “vacant for a period of time.”

A Thanet council budget deficit of £691,000 has been forecast for the 2022/23 financial year, with plans to plug the gap including the deletion of vacant job roles and a senior management restructure.

Staff savings identified to date include £280k from the removal of vacant staff posts and £25k from other staffing changes such as agreed reduction in hours. Additionally there could be a £100,000 saving with the senior management restructure.

But councillors voiced worries over the deletion of roles in waste and open spaces.

Green councillor Tricia Austin said: “I am worried about the deletion of some of the roles we have found hard to fill, particularly in services like waste and open spaces because that is going to adversely affect the experience of residents and we already have difficulties, and I know managers are already struggling to cover those services.”

Cllr Austin suggested more maintenance contracts could be drawn up with parish and town councils and voluntary groups. She also raised the idea of the council’s senior management team taking a temporary voluntary reduction in salary but chief executive Madeline Homer said this would not be under consideration as positions needed to be attractive to retain staff and salaries were already lower than comparable authorities.

Cllr Steve Albon also raised concerns about deleting waste operative posts, particularly the 10 environmental operative posts created in the previous budget – five of which have been filled but five remaining vacant.

He said: “I am hoping the other five posts that weren’t filled are not going to be got rid of. I think it is extremely important they are retained and filled.

“In each of our public consultations the response from the public is in relation to waste, recycling and keeping our streets clean. The environmental operatives were put there to enable us to impact on the issues that are  raised by residents in  specific area, such as flytipping etc, and  which we could react to. I am very concerned about that and my Labour colleagues are concerned, we could not support the budget if that happens.”

He also highlighted the budget proposal to put in £402,000 to waste while axing roles and how this might be perceived.

Finance portfolio holder Cllr David Saunders said the proposals are put forward by budget holders and he had to accept that. He said it was disappointing the roles had not been filled.

Chief executive Madeline Homer added: “These are proposals at this stage which we are seeking Cabinet support for. Just to remind people from a staffing perspective obviously that’s my remit as head of paid service so ultimately I make the decisions around what resources we need as an organisation to deliver the services we have.”

16 Comments

  1. Once again Ms Homer reminds elected members that she is in charge whatever the electorate might want. How much longer will councillors continue to put up with this ludicrous travesty of democracy?

  2. Thanet Council are fraudsters they take money off the taxpayers to carry out certain jobs but they don’t carry those jobs out street cleaning is the most obvious one. The only roads they do clean are the ones who have counsellors and council management living in.

  3. Let there be no doubt who is top dog at TDC 🙂

    Chief executive Madeline Homer added: “These are proposals at this stage which we are seeking Cabinet support for. Just to remind people from a staffing perspective obviously that’s my remit as head of paid service so ultimately I make the decisions around what resources we need as an organisation to deliver the services we have.”

    If only our elected councillors would knuckle down and stop asking for things to get better eh……

  4. Don’t delete the jobs, just cut the amount of money the councillors are getting. Simple. None of them are worth the money they get. You are elected to HELP the local community, not for what you can get out of it. How many of them would be on the council if they only got there TRUE expenses.
    Councillors, and Town councillors your comments please, so it is on record, and can be validated.

    • I am not a councillor just joe blogs. But its TDC who waste our money and from reading another story on here its seems TDC keep information away from our elected councillors ( re the comments on the pontoon ).

      I think alot ( not all ) of our local councils do a good job but are hindered by the top employees at TDC, who seem to think they answer to no one.

      For TDC to spend nearly a million pounds of our taxes on fighting bullying complaints, only for a private report to say that bullying is going on. Yet the CEO MH thinks it’s nothing to do with her is scandalous.

      TDC seems to be out of control.

    • District Cllrs do not get loads of money compared to many other districts as you presume.
      Many like when I was a Cllr do not claim expenses either

      It’s around just over £300 a month net if not a chair of a committee then maybe a further £100 or so more and obviously higher if a cabinet member.
      Cross party they certainly deserve to get something. They are not like MP’s on 82k a year ☺️
      GT

  5. So our Council Tax went up previously to fund some of these posts. They then never recruited to them so we paid more and never got the increased resource promised.

    Now they are thinking of deleting more and banking more savings. All whilst the waste and recycling service is appalling. Filthy streets, dog poo everywhere and bins never emptied.

    Homer’s response says it all. The tail still desperately trying to wag the dog.

  6. MH is a deluded incompetent bullying individual who somehow thinks that hemorrhaging our hard earned money on court cases where she has been found guilty of bullying and planning bias along with the wasted extravagant cost of port pontoons is representative of a good CEO who we all respect and want to keep! Time to go; you’ve been at it for far TOO long and we all know how appalling you have been at it! Some people always want MORE! She is a disgrace.

  7. Donna Garfield. What you say is so true, especially Madeline Homer who has done nothing to help Thanet only waste taxpayers money on bullying issues. Homer and Co need to go urgently for the future of Thanet!

  8. Curiously coincidental that a similar sum to the deficit (and some) is committed to
    Employment Tribunal(s) ? Could probably have covered a whole platoon of street cleaners like what the Mayor of Margate thinks a Town Council might provide.
    It has been suggested that a more productive use of vacant hectares in Cecil Square could be sub-let to the ‘creative community’ – thus funding more resources for the under-resourced Regeneration Team (who were originally rather ‘shy’ of supporting a Margate Levelling Up Fund as I recall.) At least one council has recognised that ‘home working’ is here to stay and downsized to the redundant Debenhams … Caviare to the general ?

  9. I have just had a reply to a Complaint I made in respect to TDC Street Scene Enforcement, which said it was due to only having 2.5 staff! So why don’t they use some of the money that was earmarked for 10 Environmental Operatives, five of which are unfilled, to employ more Street Scene Enforcement staff? Duurh! The new TDC Tory council couldn’t run a bath!

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