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‘Putting skilled people on top of the scrapheap’

from left, Jo Savage, Margaret Massey, Avril Lee, Sue Ghani, Howard Moore and Carey Brown from Land Registry Fylde Office during their 48 hour strike over plans to privatise the agency

from left, Jo Savage, Margaret Massey, Avril Lee, Sue Ghani, Howard Moore and Carey Brown from Land Registry Fylde Office during their 48 hour strike over plans to privatise the agency

Possible cuts to a public service would see skilled people put “on the scrapheap”, according to union chiefs.

A leaked email from bosses at Land Registry, which has a branch at Warton, claims the service could be running at up to 15 per cent “over capacity”.

The blow comes just two weeks after workers celebrated the Government’s announcement it would not be privatising the service following strike action over the proposals in May.

Sue Ghani, Fylde branch secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which organised the action, said: “We knew this was still something that was planned.

“We weren’t being complacent and even though we’re very pleased to have managed to influence the decision that Land Registry isn’t privatised, we knew that staff cuts were something the board were planning to look at.

“There’s nothing concrete and they’re basing it on proposed savings, but there is no proof that these are going to be achievable and of benefit to our customers.”

The service, which according to the union currently has a 98 per cent approval rating, helps landowners to register their property.

Its office on Lytham Road, Warton, currently employs around 250 people.

Ms Ghani added: “It’s a public service you can rely on.

“This would be taking skilled people and putting them on the jobs scrapheap.

“We’ve got a lot of work at the moment so it doesn’t make sense talking about reductions in staff.

“We’ll do everything we can to defend staff from office closures or compulsory redundancies.”

Land Registry says it could automate some of its services as part of the changes.

A spokesperson said: “Based on the momentum of the property market this may result in us deploying more of our staff to help meet rising demands, however it could also result in some staff reductions although no decisions have been made.

“We have already openly communicated this to our staff and our trade unions, and will continue to do so to ensure they are fully informed and supported through any changes that the organisation makes.”

 

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