Employer reaches gold standard

thisisoxfordshire: From left, council ‘staff champions’ Audrey Bushe, Chris Harvey, Ken Ashworth and Dawn Cox From left, council ‘staff champions’ Audrey Bushe, Chris Harvey, Ken Ashworth and Dawn Cox

AN Oxford City Council boss says the authority is “bucking the trend” after being recognised for its employment practices amid financial cuts.

The Labour-run council has been awarded Investors in People Gold status, an accolade given to seven per cent of organisations in the scheme.

The honour – which the council has been working towards since 2009 – came despite a 47 per cent cut in Government financial support from 2010 to 2016.

Earlier this year the council, which has more than 1,200 staff, agreed a budget which included cuts of £5.4m by 2018.

Spending £31m on services this year the council has a no compulsory redundancies policy and has provided a ‘cost of living’ pay rise from 2013-18.

Government agency Investors in People runs the scheme based on criteria such as learning and development, quality of management and how performance is measured.

Organisational development and learning manager Chris Harvey said: “I think this organisation can be extremely proud of the fact that we have bucked the trend in local government.

“We are striving to be the employer of choice in Oxford and if we do that we can get better people applying for jobs and deliver better services.”

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Ken Ashworth, a rent officer in the council’s customer services department and one of the scheme’s ‘champions’, said: “You can feel the change – people are more engaged and you can see that things are happening.”

Unite the Union and Unison failed to comment.

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