Enhanced Midlothian Council pay-off deal sparks anger

Midlothian Council Building
Midlothian Council Building

Labour councillors attacked the council’s decision to bring back enhanced redundancy which it says is needed to reduce the pay bill.

Midlothian Council currently has a no compulsory redundancy policy.

A three-month time limited voluntary severance and early retiral scheme was approved in February.

At last week’s full council meeting, councillors approved plans to allow chief executive Kenneth Lawrie to bring the scheme back as and when required to help tackle the budget shortfall. It is estimated that the scheme will save nearly £3 million over the next three years.

Mr Lawrie said: “There is a significant need to further reduce the pay bill and this is an important element of this.”

However Labour councillor Bryan Pottinger said: “Time limited means time limited. Enough is enough. It can’t be turned on and off when it suits the chief executive or policy management.

“I don’t think it’s right to use it in that tactical way.”

Councillors voted 8-6 to approve the proposals.

The time limited scheme earlier this year generated 380 applications from staff, with 181 applications approved.

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