Hous­ing jobs set to go

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - CHAR­LOTTE GREEN

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)

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