A TRADE union says the new council is “in crisis” because of redundancies which will see a director and two heads of service leaving their posts.
Mike Lewis, director of area and community services, who came from Warrington Council, is going from Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) as part of a voluntary redundancy scheme.
Also leaving are heads of service Mark Smith, organisational development and transformation and Fiona Crane, democratic services.
Chief executive Steve Robinson says the council must slash another £30m from its budget and carry out a second round of redundancies in anticipation of tight financial settlements.
Ray McHale of Cheshire Unison, in an open letter to Mr Robinson, said: “The decision to make redundant a director, two heads of service and many other managers appointed three months ago make CWAC management look like it doesn’t know what it is doing – not to mention the cost of making outside appointees redundant.
“It is time that CWAC looked to the more measured approach being taken in the East of Cheshire and set out plans to do things at a fair and reasonable pace between now and March 2010.”
The union official said in a newsletter: “The general impression is of a sinking ship, or council in crisis.”
He has heard the authority wants to lose a total of 350 posts and says more than 1,000 employees have expressed an interest in applying for redundancy.
Council boss Mr Robinson hit back and said: “What we are doing here in Cheshire West and Chester will be replicated across the country as councils face up to the financial pressures brought on by the recession.
“The difference here is that we are acting early so we can continue to deliver top-quality services.”