Cornwall Council spent more than £4.4-million of taxpayers’ money on redundancy payments last year. 

New figures show how much was spent and the scale of individual payments – the highest single redundancy payment made in 2022 was more than £94,000.

The authority has defended the payments saying that they were made in a bid to make savings for the council and that all payments were made under government guidelines. 

However, critics have said that taxpayers in Cornwall should be concerned about how much is being spent on making people redundant. Details of the redundancy payments were revealed following a Freedom of Information request submitted by the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

The total cost of redundancy payments for Cornwall Council last year was £4,400,945 on 203 packages. They range in value but the five highest packages were £94,299; £77,019; £70,613; £70,437; and £65,438.

Julian German, Independent councillor, said that some council staff had been made redundant and then re-employed by the council or work for the council as consultants for outside organisations commissioned by the authority.

He said: “We seem to keep seeing Cornwall Council employees coming back into the council either on permanent contracts or as consultants. These payments for redundancy seem quite outrageous in that context.”

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “These golden goodbyes will be a kick in the teeth for local taxpayers. Redundancy payments are a normal part of doing business, but local authorities should be expected to keep them under control. Council bosses should ensure that some of these sums aren’t repeated.”

In a statement Cornwall Council said: “As part of the council’s restructuring plans, just over 200 people took either voluntary or compulsory redundancy in 2022 as part of efforts to reduce the overall wage bill by around £18 million per year.

“These redundancies came from across the organisation, and from a wide variety of people, some of who had worked for Cornwall Council for many years. All redundancy payments are based upon local government guidelines and contractual obligations, and reflect wages and continuous service.”

The TaxPayers’ Alliance is an independent pressure group which campaigns for lower taxes. It was founded by Matthew Elliott who was also chief executive of the Vote Leave campaign. The TPA is not affiliated with any political party.