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Royal Pavilion team face jobs axe
Staff protecting one of the country’s most famous buildings could face the axe as part of cost-cutting measures.
However, as the local authority looks to make savings, The Argus understands there are plans to make some staff redundant and reduce the rest of the workers’ salaries by £1,000 each a year.
This is despite them being among the lowest paid staff on the council’s books.
It comes a few days after The Argus revealed the local authority was spending about £30,000 on recruiting a new chief executive.
The exact details are yet to be drawn up as discussions take place between council chiefs and union representatives.
However, The Argus understands the current plan will involve three members of staff leaving their £18,000-a-year roles and reducing the salaries of others.
It is believed this will save the local authority £98,000 a year and is part of the 120 posts the council said it would scrap in the current financial year.
It is not clear if this would be at odds with the local authority’s decision last year to give its lowest paid workers a living wage of £7.19 an hour.
Mark Turner, of the GMB union, said: “I do not understand why the council is spending money recruiting a chief executive when there are perfectly good people in the council to do this.
“Then, at the same time they are proposing to cut low paid staff and make people redundant – it’s despicable.
“The economic situation is what it is. But the local authority always looks to the same areas. These are frontline staff who are the face of the city and speak to visitors to the city from across the world every day.”
A council spokeswoman said: “The council and GMB are currently at a very early consultation stage. Information will be provided at the appropriate time.”
A town hall report produced in July said the local authority’s Royal Pavilion and Museums team forecast an overspend for the current financial year of £100,000.
It added this is “due mainly to security costs of £40,000”.
At the time the local authority said it did not want to comment due to sensitivities with the building.
Most of the burglaries at the Royal Pavilion, which was built for the Prince Regent in stages between 1787 and 1823, have taken place during the day.
In August 2007, The Argus revealed the estate had four exhibits worth tens of thousands of pounds stolen in two raids over the summer.
This happened when the local authority squeezed its information and security team staff down by eight to 28.
Among the other buildings they secure are Brighton Museum and Preston Manor.
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