Boris has announced cuts at City Hall, threatening to dispose of around 100 jobs in an effort to save £7.5 million by the end of 2009. This restructuring appears to be dependent upon the GLA becoming “more coherent, focused and [capable of delivering] better value“, and will include the freezing of vacanct positions as well as redundancies.

In order to achieve this, the GLA will be structured in four key areas Communities; Development & Environment; Finance & Operations; and Corporate Affairs. Boris has given the former the faintly sinister title of “Communities and Intelligence”, and has declared that it will have “a mission to strengthen communities, tackle deprivation and improve social mobility“.

He also claims to have already saved “£1m…from the restructuring of my office and £0.5m from stopping my predecessors plans for unnecessary growth“, and the Evening Standard has helpfully rounded this up to £2 million.

John Biggs has commented, with surprising restraint, that “this is nothing more than a wellspun re-launch of a failed mayoralty“.

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6 Responses to Boris Carves At City Hall

  1. Here is my favourite little snippet from the Standard’s version, aimed to emphasise Johnson’s cull:

    “The Mayor said he wanted to streamline the Greater London Authority with around 100 job losses.”

    Oh, no. All those people are going to be devastated.

    But then later on:

    “He aims to cut the number to less than 700 [from 800], although some of the posts that will go are already vacant.”

    Last time I checked – unless you’re being very pedantic – getting rid of empty posts doesn’t strictly class as job losses.

    Sniping aside, I’m genuinely interested to know how many of the cuts are vacant posts.

  2. Tom says:

    It’s a common activity in the private sector – cutting jobs that are in the process of being advertised or headcount that’s currently unused does help managers meet budget cuts without actually having to pay anyone off or go through the pain of uprooting existing teams and processes. I’ve been through a few of these, including episodes where people have been lined up to come in and then been sacked without ever actually signing the contract.

    What it doesn’t do, of course, is facilitate a bonfire of the politically correct, as Andrew Gilligan fervently desires, but then he’s a twerp.

    I’m leaning towards the opinion that he isn’t really cutting much or saving much at all – more trim and simmer than slash and burn. Perhaps (*gasp*) it was quite a lean organisation already? That leads to the next question, which is that reorganisations always cost more and deliver fewer savings, as people try to hang on to as much power as possible, delay and argue. I don’t really think the tiny reported savings are ever going to be realised, which calls the whole thing into question.

    As John Biggs points out, if you want to cut council tax (which is what a freeze is), that means the emergency service budget, not just the GLA.

  3. Helen says:

    They’ve got to have somewhere to put the MPA, haven’t they? Maybe an office-share with AM Barnbrook.

  4. Tom says:

    Not a good idea. He might have an embarrassing little accident at the sight of all those men in uniform.

  5. “Job losses”: It is all in the semantics.

    I appreciate that it is true that removing as yet unfilled posts is still technically cutting.

    But the intention of the ES article – and indeed the headline – is to instil in the casual skim reader the idea that 100 overpaid wasters are literally going to be thrown out by their shirt collars.

    It is how the reader immediately perceives the word “losses” that is important, and a clever journalist knows it.

    Talking of being pedantic..

  6. […] difficult to see why this would come as a surprise, though, considering that the intention to slice was announced back in […]

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