Housing jobs set to go
UP TO 24 positions could be made redundant at Macclesfield-based housing association Peaks & Plains, it has been announced.
Association bosses say the move comes in light of the Government’s recent commitment to reduce all social landlord rents by one per cent year-on-year for the next four years starting in 2016.
The plans were outlined in Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget speech in July.
Peaks & Plains, which owns and manages 5,000 homes across East Cheshire and employs 250 people, is beginning the review with immediate effect and will now enter a period of consultation.
Bosses say the rent cuts, which will begin to take effect in January, will equate to a £9m loss of revenue for Peaks & Plains over that period.
Tim Pinder, the association’s chief executive, said: “It is with deepest regret that I announce that Peaks & Plains is reviewing a number of positions within the organisation at risk of redundancy.
“The reality of these new financial pressures is forcing everyone in social housing to take difficult choices, and as a result the board has acted quickly and decisively to secure the future of the business.
“As a business we will continue to strive to improve the lives of our customers through increased focus on delivering high quality day-to- day landlord services and continue our plans to build 250 new affordable homes over the coming years.
“This means we must review the way we do business to remain financially strong in the future.
“Regrettably that may mean some job losses in the short term.
“It’s a sad day for the Trust and I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all our staff for their commitment, enthusiasm and dedication.”
Chairman of union Unite’s National Housing Forum, Paul Kershaw, said: “We are aware that associations are squeezed by government policy but year after year their surpluses have been increasing while their CEO’s have received inflation busting pay increases. It is quite wrong that their response to a change in the rent regime is to punish staff and tenants that need their services by moving to redundancies.
“We hope that associations will work with Unite to find local solutions.”
MP for Macclesfield, David Rutley has met with the chief executive.
He said: “Difficult choices have had to be made to continue to get our public finances under control and housing associations like Peaks & Plains are facing greater cost pressures.
“Tim Pinder and the team continue to be committed to providing a valued local service and will be making the full-range of support available to those staff members who have been affected.”
●● The association’s office in Macclesfield and Tim Pinder (inset)