The staggering number of staff cuts from Merton Council's books has been revealed.

A Freedom of Information request by the Wimbledon Times found that between the 2013-14 financial year and April of 2019, 300 members of staff were made redundant by the council

The year hardest hit year was 2015-16, when 94 people were given their marching orders.

This contributed to a little more than £1.2million being paid out by the council in that year alone.

When the five-plus years are added up, it revealed that the council has handed out £3,440,788

When questioned on how the council could justify this, cabinet member for finance, Mark Allison, said: "Like all councils, Merton has had to make enormous savings, worth many tens of millions of pounds, due to the massive reductions in the funding we receive from the government, and unfortunately, as the majority of our expenditure is spent on staffing, the inevitable consequence is redundancies.

“Where we can, we offer staff the chance to apply for alternative positions, and advice about training, but, if staff can’t be redeployed, then the impact of these cuts is that redundancy payments that comply with legislation are sadly unavoidable.

“The government has cut funding to councils by more than half since 2010, and, as a business-like council, we call on them to reverse their cuts so that we can provide good services for our residents without being forced to make redundancy payments that we would rather spend on our communities."

The FOI also revealed what the highest individual payouts were over the timeframe.

These were:

  1. £79,536.29
  2. £75,842.00
  3. £55,680.66
  4. £55,426.80
  5. £53,399.68