£12.7m for staff who were made redundant
MORE than 1,100 people working for Essex County Council shared £12.7million in redundancy payments last year, the council has announced.
The 1,162 jobs were lost as part of the authority's "transformation" programme, which it claimed had made savings of £370 million on Monday.
The figures were revealed in the council's draft accounts for 2011-12, to be reviewed at an Audit Committee in County Hall tomorrow (Friday).
The document also shows minor overall pay package cuts for top people at County Hall, mainly because no bonuses were paid last year.
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Based on an average annual staff salary of £23,000, and including pension and national insurance costs, the council claims the job losses will save around £34 million a year.
The number of workers paid more than £50,000 a year dropped from 459 to 434, and school staff earning £50,000-plus fell from 879 to 650, in the same period.
Councillors' expenses claims went down because of a reduction in committees and members with allowances for special responsibility.
The pension fund deficit soared £224million to £857million because of the international economic crisis.
County Councillor David Finch, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and transformation, said: "Our ambitious modernisation is now forecast to deliver £370m of savings. While we have had to pay out money in the short term as a result of restructuring, this will deliver cost savings in the long term, which will far outweigh the initial cost.
"It is important to take the long term view when it comes to pension investments."