City of London Corporation announce 40 jobs at risk across London’s historic open spaces

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GMB members working at London’s historic open spaces have been informed that their jobs are at risk following the announcement of restructuring across the Corporation’s open spaces, giving rise to concern about the future of public safety in spaces that are there to be enjoyed.

GMB London, representing members employed by the City of London Corporation (CoL) working at Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest and West Ham Park to name but a few, has been informed that potentially 40 staff could lose their jobs, with cuts made to park keepers, enforcement officers and other roles.

 Anna Lee, GMB London Region Orgnaiser said:

“GMB London has been negotiating on pay on behalf of our members at CoL for months now, the reason the Corporation gave for not increasing the pay offer was that it would mitigate the need for redundancies. There has been no further pay offer agreeable to our members and now the Corporation has announced redundancies in any case. 

“These workers help keep the parks clean and safe for all to enjoy but they also deal with an element of the public who pollute and contaminate open spaces with unwelcome behaviour and dangerous habits. Any reduction in staffing will mean reduced intervention that could lead to risk and harm being present. Open spaces are a very important part of any community and have a vital role in supporting people’s health and well-being as well as being essential for wildlife.”

One GMB member said:

“After the low pay award to be told you could be losing your job is another kick in the teeth. I have worked here for over 20 years and the Corporation obviously don’t know or value what we do. As a keeper, I have dealt with some very serious situations, such as violent members of the public. One of my concerns is if you cut the number of keepers it means you cut public safety.”

GMB London Region calls on the City Corporation of London, one of the wealthiest organisations in London’s ‘Square Mile’ to engage measures to ensure that these roles are not made redundant, to keep the public’s health and safety and environment at the forefront of any decision that would otherwise be detrimental to the use and enjoyment of these open spaces.

Please contact Anna Lee, GMB London Region Organiser on 078 7017 6720