Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Basil McCrea makes staff redundancies

Ulster Unionist MLA Basil McCrea has made two of his staff redundant.

But the Lagan Valley Assemblyman has stressed that his two constituency offices at Lisburn and Dromore are staying open.

One of the two workers to have lost their jobs is UUP councillor Carol Black, winner of the high-profile Dromore by-election in February.

It is understood the councillor will continue working in Mr McCrea's Dromore office in a voluntary capacity.

MLAs each receive some £72,000 a year in Office Costs Allowance (OCA) from the Assembly.

Mr McCrea last night said: “We always knew that running two offices out of one OCA was going to be a challenge.”

Mr McCrea was accompanied at discussions with staff about the redundancies by human resources consultant Catherine Williamson

Ms Williamson was criticised in a report earlier this year by the Assembly Public Accounts Committee, relating to a past role with a hotels body in the 1990s.

Mr McCrea last night said Ms Williamson was present at his discussions for independent note-taking purposes.

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