THE transfer of four Bournemouth council departments to a private company will result in 88 redundancies, it has been confirmed.

The council’s ICT, revenues, benefits and facilities management are all set to be outsourced to Mouchel on December 1.

The move has been hailed as a potential “win win” for the council, saving it money, improving services and creating new jobs over the next 10 years.

But it has now been confirmed that the first impact will be 88 redundancies, although the council insists this is not a true reflection of the situation.

Executive director Tony Williams said: “Staff have been fully aware that there would be 88 redundancies as part of the outsourcing of services to Mouchel. These will not happen immediately and will be cut over the next two years.

“Mouchel have guaranteed redeployment for half of these. A number of others will be achieved through deleting vacant posts and natural wastage.

“The net number of actual redundancies is likely to be minimal and in line with the possible redundancies in the remainder of the council as a result of the reduction in government grant.”

But David Higgins, Bournemouth branch secretary for the trade union Unison, said the redundancies were a real concern for staff.

“They’ve been trying to keep this aspect of it quiet,” he said. “The authority has said all the time that this is about avoiding redundancies but there’s only about 311 staff that have transferred across.

“Even if they redeploy half of those workers that’s still 44 fewer jobs. It’s going to be difficult to provide a good service with that level of reduction.”

He said the union would be “watching Mouchel closely” to ensure they deliver on their promises.