Bromley Council has confirmed a “very serious potential re-arrangement” of one of its teams, after crucial transport funding was pulled by Transport for London during the coronavirus pandemic.
The authority confirmed on Friday consultation had started which could lead to members of the council’s traffic team being made redundant.
It is unclear how many staff will be impacted by the changes at this stage, but it is understood the traffic team makes up part of the much larger Environment and Public Protection department.
It came after Transport for London announced in June it would suspend its local implementation plan (LIP) funding due to the financial chaos inflicted upon it by coronavirus.
That funding was meant to be replaced by TfL’s Streetspace programme – with Bromley tabling an ambitious package of more than 180 proposals including pop-up cycle lanes, extra crossings and traffic filters in a bid to encourage more sustainable transport and social distancing post-lockdown.
While the authority had hoped for more than £1m, the reality saw them awarded as little as £369,322.
In a statement, Bromley Council said the withdrawal of the LIP funding – which was used to implement better transport measures across the borough – was the reason behind potential redundancies in the traffic team.
“As a direct result of Transport for London’s cancellation of the previously promised LIP funding grant, the council is unfortunately at the early stages of consulting with affected staff about a very serious potential re-arrangement of the traffic team, who are part of the Environment and Public Protection department,” a spokesperson for the council said.
“It is no secret that the council faces severe financial pressures but subject to the ongoing consultation with affected staff and their representatives, the council will seek to minimise and mitigate the number and impact of any redundancies through staff redeployments for example, pursuant with the relevant employment law provisions.”
It’s unclear if and how the process would impact the implementation of Streetspace initiatives.
The authority also called on Deputy Mayor of London for Transport, Heidi Alexander, to “prioritise restoring the full LIP Grant for the remainder of this year and future years so that the important work that this Grant funds can continue”.
The authority also moved to clarify social media remarks which indicated the entire Environment and Public Protection department was facing redundancy.
“Following the misleading and inaccurate comments on social media and mindful of the unnecessary concerns this will raise with unaffected staff, the vast majority of Environment and Public Protection departmental staff are not included and completely unaffected by this consultation process,” a spokesperson said.
More to come.