Wandsworth Council has been cutting staff left, right and centre for the past decade and now the areas hardest hit have been revealed.

A Freedom of Information request by the Wandsworth Times found that between 2011 and 2015, 455 staff across ten departments were made redundant.

A further 155 jobs have been axed since Wandsworth and Richmond Councils entered into a shared staffing arrangement in which people are jointly employed by both local authorities.

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The department which suffered the most was children's services, where 141 people have been let go in the eight-plus years.

Councillor Andy Gibbons, Wandsworth Labour’s shadow cabinet member for finance said the redundancy deals made for senior staff in the past have been "excessive."

"Last year the former director of children's services left with a pay-off of £300,000," he said.

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"Tory cutbacks in education and children's services have gone too far.

"The service has descended into a crisis situation and the council has had to spend £37m to try - unsuccessfully - to ensure vulnerable children are properly protected.

"Much of this money has gone on paying temporary staff in place of long-term employees. This leads to uncertainty and instability."

In 2015, the council's children's services department was also criticised by Ofsted, who at the time rated it as "inadequate overall."

The FOI revealed that in the four years prior to this inspection, 118 staff from that department alone had been sent packing. This accounted for more than a quarter of all redundancies made in that time.

Then in 2018, when the most recent Ofsted inspection for children's services took place, the council was once again told it needed "significant improvement."

Particular shortcomings the inspectors identified included delays in finding adoptive and permanent carers for children; ineffective oversight of private fostering; and slow progress in identifying health needs of children in care.

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A Wandsworth Council spokesman said the cuts were necessary to keep the books balanced.

“We always keep staffing arrangements under review to ensure that the services we provide to the public are adequately resourced and of a high standard while at the same time ensuring we remain a lean and efficient organisation that provides value for money and does not place an undue financial burden on our council tax payers,” he said.

Earlier this month the Conservative administration raised council tax by the maximum amount allowed without triggering a referendum - 4.99%

Mr Gibbons admitted cuts to funding was an issue, but said the council has taken things too far.

"Wandsworth, which has been heavily reliant on government funding, has lost over £140m since 2010," he added.

"But this council has an ideological obsession with reducing it's services and cutting provision to the bone.

"They are now making further cuts to children's centres.”