Falkirk Council’s jobs strategy ‘meaningless’

Councillors heard the report in the Municipal Buildings
Councillors heard the report in the Municipal Buildings

An SNP councillor savaged a report on the council’s workforce strategy – then was criticised for being so negative.

Tom Coleman said parts of the ‘One Council One Workforce’ paper considered by the Executive were “meaningless” and called for it to be brought back in a more constructive form.

Prepared by the council’s corporate and housing department, summarised by chief executive Mary Pitcaithly and presented by Karen Algie, head of HR and business transformation, it set out a framework for the future management of employee numbers in line with the recently announced budget strategy which will see job losses.

But Councillor Coleman described it as a “rambling document” that was not helpful to staff.

He said: “We should be trying to be a bit more honest with the people we employ. This is a bit of a rambling document that’s not particularly helpful. Parts of it are meaningless.

“Our people want to know if they have a future with the council because they have their finances to plan and families to look after. We need to be telling them where they are going to be in a few years, treat them like adults and explain how we are going to manage the reduction in the number of people we employ.

“We have a duty of care to be straight with them, but this report doesn’t tell them much.”

Labour councillor Linda Gow said: “These scatter-gun negative comments are not deserved and an insult to the people who prepared this report.”

The strategy was approved by six votes to three.