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Lewes District staff morale at an all time low

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On Sun 15 Apr at 5:14pm Southover resident wrote:
Friend of mine works for LDC, has done for many years. She tells me that the staff still left there (and there are not many) are fed up with what is happening since the Eastbourne merger. Morale at an all time low. Apparently the place is full of temps. Glad my council tax is supporting another failing council.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 5:23pm Oh Noes... wrote:
Oh my heart bleeds for them, the poor little lovies, will they be ok?
Imagine having to work with temp staff, how ghastly, I think I would have a jolly good moan too if my office dared to fill the slots of people on long term sickness with temp staff!
If I were them I would spend all day moaning about it rather than working, that'll teach the rotters.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 5:36pm Southover resident wrote:
Oh Noes - my friend wasnt moaning about temps. The place is full of temps because they cant recruit staff and apparently they let too many staff leave on voluntary redundancy. Yes many staff are off sick or stress and they need to backfill them - not a great place for anyone to work in.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 5:37pm Council Tax payer wrote:
That explains why it takes 20 minutes to get through on the phone.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 5:42pm Private sector worker wrote:
My heart also bleeds. Also work with temps but grateful for their help but unlike council workers don't have their pension or sick pay
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On Sun 15 Apr at 5:45pm Sue wrote:
Itís the same at East Sussex County Council since we merged with Surrey C C.
And as for the comments from Oh Noes, how dare you slag off conscience,dedicated staff that work really hard still trying to deliver services especiallly to vunerable people.
We do still care, but itís becoming more and more difficult.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 5:47pm Country Life wrote:
Get a better job than working at the council maybe?
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On Sun 15 Apr at 5:49pm Oh Noes wrote:
Yes I get that, but frankly I couldn't care less about anyone working for the council.
I assume you're in the same mindset as me on account of the fact you sarcastically end your post by mentioning you're paying for them to fail.
I wonder how big the bonuses are this year...
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On Sun 15 Apr at 6:32pm Lunatic Les wrote:
Letís hope they gets jobs in the private sector and experience what the real world is like.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 7:54pm Oh Noes wrote:
Lots of thumbs down but yet the posts clearly show no one could give two hoots about the "hardships" of the average council worker. I wonder why those thumbing down don't have anything useful to add in their defence.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 7:54pm Border Control wrote:
The less staff the better, the less councils the better too. Too many have had it too good for too long. Time the gravy rain ground to a halt.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 8:39pm Sylvia wrote:
Oh Noes, local government staff have NEVER had bonuses, unlike the private sector. Their salary levels are fixed, many have had pay frozen for quite a while, be grateful there are still people willing to work for low pay and take constant criticism from the public. And no, I don't work in local government nor have any family who do either.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 9:09pm Oh Noes wrote:
But they do get extended sick periods, they are pretty much unsackable and they also appear to be pretty much free to do as little as they please. Seeing as our tax pays for them to sweet fa, I don't see why I should be grateful... presumably all the competent ones have left and now work in the private sector, meanwhile those that have been unable to get a real job are still going in and moaning about it.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 9:32pm Geoff Paddle wrote:
I work at ESCC. Typical example: SCC staff are paid around 40k for a job that ESCC would be paid 30k. Most redundancies have been in ESCC, so our Council Tax now pays for the higher SCC salaries, as salaries have a pooled budget.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 10:37pm Local wrote:
If a local government office job pays less than an equivalent private sector office job, I'll be amazed.
And that's before the sickies, the unaffordable pension, the holiday, and the take-it-easy work ethic.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 11:05pm @Oh Noes, Luntic Les, CL wrote:
You poor snowflakes. You're obviously a Daily Mail readers, living the lie that council workers, nurses, police officers, firemen & teachers are all overpaid slackers. The reality is understaffing, low pay & unpaid overtime.
But hey, you can stop whinging or keep bleeting about how bad your life is in the private sector and how happy you are that others aren't finding it easy.
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On Sun 15 Apr at 11:06pm archie wrote:
One hears 25% down on staffing levels on phones, and 50 vacancies unfilled.
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On Mon 16 Apr at 1:01am Fairmeadow wrote:
The ignorance of Oh Noes is shown by his/her belief that council staff are virtually unsackable. Too much Daily Mail reading evident! May have been true a generation ago: certainly isn't today, or anytime in the present century.
The NHS has seen 3% "efficiency gains" [translation: annual cuts in baseline funding] for more than a decade now, and there have been huge cuts in council funding under Osborne and Hammond. Whole swathes of jobs have disappeared, while the demands for better service continue. As just one example, when Lewes & Eastbourne merged, every employee had to reapply for a job in the new structure. The numbers of posts were slashed, but there still weren't enough applicants to fill them. Hardly surprising our roads are crumbling, libraries closing and the likes of the Phoenix Centre under threat.
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On Mon 16 Apr at 8:50am Stanley Gibbons wrote:
So essentially, what we have here are a selection of totally insulated members of the public whom have no idea about the inner working of the public sector and believe everything they read about how "bad" it is from terrifyingly bad sources, whilst ignoring actual evidence in the form of service cuts, austerity measures, etc etc
But hey don't worry, it's the workers fault for not doing their jobs! Can't the council/nhs/etc buy more money???????
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On Mon 16 Apr at 9:47am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
@Sylvia, ESCC middle and senior managers used to have a performance related pay scheme that gave them a bonus if they met certain targets. They may still have such a scheme.
A neighbouring district council also used to have one, and a senior officer once got the maximum bonus in a year when he had been on long term sick leave!
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On Mon 16 Apr at 9:59am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Ime, local authorities' efficiency declines whenever they have a wave of redundancies/early retirements.
The staff who can afford to leave tend to be the older ones with many years of service. This means that redundancies tend to lead to a haemorrhage of knowledge and experience that is irreplaceable.
It's not uncommon for the councils to re-employ former employees as "consultants" when they realise that they need their expertise.
I think the LDC/EBC merger has been a disaster. I've had extensive dealings with both councils and EBC's "call centre" approach is a nightmare. By comparison, it used to be much easier to get hold of the person dealing with a problem at LDC, but it's as bad as Eastbourne ever was now.
Instead of taking what worked best in each council, and applying it to both, the Eastbourne way of working seems to be have adopted wholesale by LDC: it's more like a takeover than a merger. And I'm far from convinced that works well in an urban area like Eastbourne is the best way to deliver services in a rural area like Lewes district.
A merger with Wealden would have been more appropriate. I also have dealings with Wealden, and they seem to be able to deliver services pretty well.
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On Mon 16 Apr at 10:49am Deja Vu wrote:
As per usual ACT adds some sanity to the conversation. Can't fault Wealden, prompt and efficient so far (had to call them a couple of times to get the full run down on the bins), plus they definitely deliver at a lower cost.
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On Mon 16 Apr at 11:54am Welden + Veolia wrote:
the bin men . Always bin good
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On Mon 16 Apr at 1:27pm Buzzard wrote:
The endgame, of course, is that services are degraded until eventually they fail, justifying outsourcing to the likes of Amey or maybe even Virgin. The contract they sign is "commercial in confidence" so you can never find out what they are being paid, what they are supposed to do or what their real targets are. You just pay up and accept what you get. If the contractor starts doing something really crazy, like cutting down all your beloved, healthy street trees (as Amey do in Sheffield), and you complain to your councillor, you get told, sorry, it has to be that way or we get charged £millions under the (secret) contract. If you protest, you get arrested, get a criminal record and lose your job. That's where it all ends.
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On Mon 16 Apr at 2:36pm Ghost of Maggie wrote:
Just rejoice and be thankful for competitive tendering and privatisation.
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On Mon 16 Apr at 2:38pm Lunatic Les wrote:
Or, the real endgame is the tax payer doesnít pay the salaries of the work shy that spend a large part of their day smoking in the Town Hall car park, the constantly on sick leave,and the pensions of all the hard working under paid mentioned above
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On Mon 16 Apr at 8:06pm Adrian wrote:
A couple of observations, if I may.
I work in the private sector supplying a service to the public sector, yet, we are "man to man" marked by the public sector team. The only reason we are employed is to carry the risk. No savings to the public because of the "man to man" marking.
Secondly, my experience of redundancy in the private sector is that it is not offered across the board but targeted at people who can afford to be lost, thus preserving the corporate memory.
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On Tue 17 Apr at 7:19am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Compulsory competitive tendering in the public sector was supposed to cut costs. Instead, it takes a lot of staff resources to draw up the contracts, manage the tender award process and monitor it to make sure that the contracts are actually being delivered as specified.
It's added a whole extra level of management that wasn't needed when things were done in-house. When things were done by the council/NHS/whatever staff, their managers made sure that they were doing what was required to the right standard and they were using the right equipment/materials because that was what was purchased by the public body employing them.
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On Tue 17 Apr at 8:51am @ Annette C-T wrote:
You are absolutely spot on there. I worked for a Housing Association in the early 80's. Maintaining the (fabric and services of) the homes. By '90 Thatcher had ethically cleansed the Association. Fast forward to 2000's and I bought a house near our old "base" estate. Talking to a couple of residents then , I found the service had deteriorated both on our side and also the Housing Officers side. Not surprised but the irony is that, with the advance of technology and mobile phones, we could have streamlined our operation and directly employed more tradespeople too. Let us Just Rejoice and be thankful, anyway
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On Tue 17 Apr at 9:37am Observer wrote:
The main problem in councils, I think, is social care, which they (rather than the NHS or central government) pay for. Costs are constantly going up as a result of the ageing population and cuts elsewhere. With local authority budgets pretty much static this means that social care is taking up more and more of their resources - in a few years they won't be able to do anything else.


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