BRACKNELL Forest Council has paid out more than �700,000 in redundancy payments after laying off 46 staff last month. It was part of an ongoing cost-cutting drive to help plug a �6m gap in its budget.

In all, 66 positions were axed, 44 of these worked at either the now closed Ladybank care home in Birch Hill or the council's home care team. Of the 66, 18 workers were redeployed, according to a report going to the council's employment committee on Tuesday.

Two employees were no longer eligible for redundancy because one was dismissed and the other no longer met the criteria for continuous service.

The other 46 council workers were made compulsorily redundant at the end of last month.

The initial redundancy costs previously agreed by the council's employment committee were �919,648 but the redeployments have reduced the total bill to �727,576.

The council says, though, the redundancies will save �1.324m a year from its staffing budget, from salaries / employer contributions.

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