Mid Ulster council merger saw 18 staff take ‘voluntary severance’ at a cost of £1.9m

Councillor C�thal Mallaghan revealing Mid Ulster council's new brand which was rolled out in April

Councillor C�thal Mallaghan revealing Mid Ulster council's new brand which was rolled out in April

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In the move from three district councils to one in Mid Ulster, the Mail has learned that 18 members of staff took “voluntary severance” costing the council a total of £1.9m.

But a spokesperson for Mid Ulster District Council said that over the long term this will make “significant savings in salary costs in the medium term”.

Mid Ulster council offices in Magherafelt

Mid Ulster council offices in Magherafelt

The merger meant that fewer senior staff were needed leading to a reduction in management costs - one of the benefits of local government reform according to the council.

“In line with regional guidance about the transfer of staff and the agreed severance scheme for local government,” a spokesperson explained, “a limited number of employees from a range of levels who were affected by the implementation of the new council’s structure were able to apply for voluntary severance.

“Across the 11 new councils, costs are estimated to be in the region of £22M and, as is widely known, Mid Ulster’s share for severance was estimated to be approximately £2M,” they added.

“The costs of funding the severance scheme, which involved a total of 18 staff leaving the organisation, was £1.9M.”

They went on to say however that: “These costs cannot be viewed in isolation, as there is a payback period of less than 2 years in most cases, which means ultimately the council will make significant savings in salary costs in the medium term.”