Aerial view over Hastings

Job losses as Hastings licensing limbo drags on

Team faces losing experienced staff in a difficult recruitment area.
21 January 2021 , Katie Coyne

Hastings Borough Council has had to start issuing redundancies in its housing enforcement team due to a nine-month delay from government on whether to renew its licensing scheme.

The council has issued four redundancy notices and will have to make further cuts in September if the scheme does not get approval, or there are further delays on the decision.

Debbie Watts, team leader, housing renewal compliance, said once the redundancies are completed by the start of April the team will, have lost some “really experienced” members of staff.

She added: “So if we have got the scheme we may have to go through a recruitment process to replace them. And obviously even if they wanted to come back, and they might not after being made redundant, they can't come back until a period of time has elapsed.

"We just need an answer really, we really hope to get the scheme but if we don't, we need to sort things out accordingly."

While the scheme has ended it is still being administered by the Hastings team as the licences are for five years, and some landlords may have only applied in the last year. However, most landlords applied at the start of the scheme, which is why more redundancies will have to be made in the autumn.

Enfield Council, in North London, is also still waiting to hear if its scheme will be renewed. It has so far waited 11 months but as this is a new scheme being proposed they have not had to make redundancies.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.


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