TWENTY members of staff at Oxford City Council have been furloughed as a cost saving measure.

The city council chose to furlough the 20 members of staff in April for a three-week period, and published the decision on its website last week.

The period could be extended and more staff could be taken out of work as well.

The decision, taken by the council's chief executive Gordon Mitchell was explained on the authority's website.

The council said the staff members would not have been able to continue working remotely and could not be redeployed into other work, as many members of council staff had been.

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They will be paid 80 per cent of their salaries up to £2,500 per month as per the government's furlough scheme, and the council will pay the other 20 per cent.

In its decision, the council also said its finances had taken a dive because it is no longer collecting parking charges, or business rates.

Another decision taken by the council's chief executive will mean that Oxford Direct Services, a company wholly-owned by the council, will be paid for its work on an 'at cost' basis during the 'the period of the disruption' caused by the coronavirus.

Some of the work ODS does for the council has been stopped during the pandemic.