Once upon a time Lewes District Council had a good administrative reputation. Whichever party was in power, its decisions were carried out reasonably efficiently. In part this was because staff were happy to work for the council, so it accumulated a workforce with a large number of happy, experienced staff with a good deal of local knowledge.
The “49 sites” debacle, where the council attempted to sell 49 sites around the district to make money, without telling lcoal people where these were, dented this reputation somewhat, but this was as nothing compared with what is now taking place.
The council has embarked on an administrative merger with Eastbourne Council with the aim of saving £2.7 million.
This merger is called the “Joint Transformation Programme” (JTP). As you might expect, the savings are to be made by cutting down on staff. This has resulted in gross overwork for those that remain and staff are forced to take decisions in areas they know little or nothing about.
If you have contacted the council recently you will have probably found that, in the words of one member of staff “virtually nothing works and everything has been made far more complicated and far less efficient”.
As usual, the Corporate Management Team (CMT) has not listened to staff or service users on the ground. Staff say that services don’t work, staff sickness has rocketed and a fortune is being spent on temporary staff.
A couple of months ago, a circular letter appeared in the pigeon holes of all senior staff and councilors. It is clearly written by someone with a detailed knowledge of the workings of the council. Some senior staff and council members got to read it, but it seems that someone went round removing the letter before everyone could read it. There seems to have been no attempt to discuss the issues raised.
So the letter is reproduced in full below. You might want to ask your district council member what they think about it.