Callous Tories are rushing through the closure of the Olympic’s bar and restaurant without due consultation and negotiation. The Town clerk, Julie Pilbeam gave the GMB union a consultation documentation proposing that The Olympic closed both its bar and restaurant with the loss of nine jobs. The reason given was that the bar and restaurant were “not covering operating costs”. Julie Pilbeam gave both staff and the union just one day’s notice to inform them of the start of the consultation.
Swanley & District Labour Party shares the Union’s serious concerns that:
- Not all Councillors are aware of this decision to close the bar and restaurant,
- That the tax paying residents of Swanley have not been consulted in any way
- That the consultation is being rushed through
- That no proper information has been provided to justify the termination of the services provided
We join the union in calling upon councillors and Swanley residents to raise the following questions as a matter of urgency:
- What other options were available and under consideration before this decision was made? If there were, what was the rationale for not taking them forward?
- What were the costings for the other proposals and what are the ongoing costs of the agreed proposal?
- Why is there no financial information provided in the proposal, in particular the budgets and accounts for The Olympic for the past three years? Where is the full business case for the proposal? [2 sentences in Section 2 are nowhere near adequate given that 9 posts are to be made redundant and a community service is to be closed]
- Why is the Olympic no longer able to cover operating costs?
- What actions have been taken to try and turn around the Olympic?
- When was the decision made to close the bar and restaurant?
- Who made this decision?
- Does the decision to close the bar and restaurant need to go before all Councillors for approval or scrutiny?
- Does the public have the right to see the proposals before they go ahead? If so why haven’t they?
- Why were the GMB, as the recognised union, only given 1 days’ notice of the meeting?
- Why does the consultation need to happen now before proper notice can be given to the GMB?
Swanley & District Labour Party agrees that to tell such dedicated staff just before Christmas that their jobs are going is nothing short of heartless. There seems to be no regard for the individuals and their families in these troubled times. We join the GMB in urging the Council to allow the union and staff to be given time to be properly consulted and to scrutinise all possible options.