Newsquest’s North London division has announced ten sub-editing and four planning and output roles will be moved from Watford to Weymouth as part of proposals due to be rolled out in either June or July.
A number of group editor and deputy editor roles in the division have already been cut as part of a management shake up by the publisher.
It saw staff of all 18 Newsquest titles in North London, West Essex, South Herts and South Bucks centralised in an editorial hub at Watford and placed under a single group editor in Tim Jones.
The Watford operation also now includes the group’s former East London and West Essex division, comprising the Chingford Guardian, Epping Forest Guardian, Waltham Forest Guardian and Wanstead and Woodford Guardian.
The proposed relocation of subbing jobs is in keeping with Newsquest’s policy of transferring production operations to two central hubs, at Weymouth and Newport, following its introduction of the Knowledge editorial system.
Already most of the group’s daily and weekly titles in the West Midlands, North West, North East and Yorkshire have seen production switch to Newport while most of its South Coast newspapers, including Brighton daily The Argus, are now subbed in Weymouth.
The latest move was revealed in an internal memo from Tim and publishing services manager Denise Smith sent yesterday.
It states that “potential redundancies may result” for staff presently based at Watford adding that the new system will “improve operational efficiency” and “save costs.”
The memo continues: “The proposed transfer will affect all ten subbing staff and all four planning and output staff who are presently employed at Newsquest London (North London).
“From a legal perspective, those employees will, by virtue of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”), be entitled to transfer on their existing terms and conditions of employment and with continuity of employment preserved.”
The precise timing of the changes has not been revealed as it will “depend on the installation of the IT systems and hardware required along with the training of all relevant employees.”
The memo concludes: “Whilst terms of employment will not otherwise be affected, the roles will, following the transfer, be based in Weymouth.”
Newsquest has yet to respond to HTFP’s request for further comment on the issue.