Three redundancies after outdoor staff merger

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THREE members of Bicester Town Council’s outdoor staff have been made redundant following a shake-up of maintenance in parks, sports grounds and play areas.

A team of staff looking after parks and recreation grounds has been merged with another taking care of play areas. Two people were made redundant, and a third took voluntary redundancy after the reorganisation.

James Porter, chairman of Bicester Town Council’s policy committee, said: “For many years we have had two teams, one for parks and recreation ground maintenance and one looking after play areas.

“Each had a supervisor and a self-contained role. This fragmented approach has led to duplication in many situations and lack of adequate response in others.”

He said the approach had seen the continuation of outdated and inefficient practices.

Bicester Town Council says although the review will save a small amount of money, its main aim is to make its grounds maintenance more efficient and effective.

A single team leader will have responsibility for the day-to-day management of the new combined team.

Instead of having specific roles, Bicester’s outdoor staff will handle everything from cleaning play areas to pruning trees and tending flowerbeds.

The new team leader’s position is now being advertised externally following recent interviews with the present staff.

Schemes to help people with learning difficulties and young offenders are set to continue.