Essex County Council has paid £8.6m on redundancies as part of its efforts to ‘streamline’ the local authority’s operations.
The council let go 277 employees during a reorganisation of its senior management structure, paying 13 of the former staff members between £100,000 and £200,000 each.
The county council, which is one of the largest local authorities in the country, has a total workforce of 6,500 and a budget of £1.8bn.
Last year, the council paid £2m on 83 exit packages.
A spokesperson for Essex CC said the £8.6m of exit payments for the 2017-18 period were redundancy and pension strain payments ‘that we are legally required to make.’
The spokesperson also said that the payments had to be seen in the context of the council’s redesign.
‘We chose to offer voluntary redundancy where we could in order to mitigate as far as possible against compulsory redundancy, providing more opportunities for those who wanted to stay with the organisation who would not otherwise have been able to,’ said the spokesperson.
‘This redesign was necessary to streamline the organisation, following feedback about the way it is structured from staff and partners and how ECC needs to be structured in order to meet future challenges.’