Unions plan protest over axing of council posts

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TRADE unions are holding a protest meeting after Rotherham Council announced plans to axe 17 cashiers’ jobs.

The meeting takes place before a meeting of Rotherham Council at which members are likely to approve closure of the authority’s network of cashiers’ desks.

If the plans get the go-ahead, 17 jobs will be lost.

The proposals are set to be passed by the council’s ruling cabinet at a meeting on Wednesday, June 8. The council meets at 10.30am, at Rotherham Town Hall.

Trade union protesters are set to gather an hour beforehand, at 9.30am, to demonstrate with placards as councillors arrive.

But Rotherham Council said the move, which affects council tax and housing rental payments, will save money and benefit the public.

A Rotherham Borough Council spokesman said: “The council is currently looking at proposals to extend the options available to its customers for the payment of council tax and rental payments on council properties.

“We are looking at a proposal to introduce payment facilities at more than 140 new outlets across Rotherham – and more beyond – using customer service centres, Post Offices and Paypoint locations.

“The proposal would mean that Neighbourhood Offices would no long take payments due to the other options which would be available in each local community.

“We feel the changes being put forward will ensure that making payments is as simple as possible for everyone across the borough and regardless of any changes, direct debit remains the council’s preferred payment option. Wherever possible we encourage people to continue to use it,” she said.

“If the proposal is accepted by cabinet, we will be contacting residents and tenants who pay by cash regarding the plans to help them through the process.”

The proposal follows a similar move made by Sheffield Council in an attempt to save hundreds of thousands of pounds.