Up to seven editorial roles are set to be made redundant by a regional publisher in the next two weeks, union chiefs have claimed.
The National Union of Journalists has criticised plans by Newsquest to cut staff in Brighton, South London and North Wales, which will lead to an overall headcount reduction of six.
According to the NUJ, Newsquest plans to axe the roles of business editor, picture editor and one of the two remaining sports desk roles at Brighton daily The Argus, while an editor and one of two remaining sub-editor roles in South London are also set to go.
Titles affected in the capital are the Croydon Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Streatham Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian , Wimbledon Guardian, Elmbridge Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Richmond & Twickenham Times and the Surrey Comet.
The cutbacks follow the recent departure of group editor Andy Parkes who had overall editorial responsiblity for both The Argus and the South London titles.
In addition, the union says the roles of content manager and head of news have been put at risk of redundancy at Newsquest’s Colwyn Bay centre, with an accompanying proposal for one new role of audience and content editor to be created.
The NUJ claims the company wants to make the cuts in a fortnight and said in a letter to staff it had been reviewing all functions and would carry out reorganisations “so as to deliver efficiencies and reduce costs”.
Chris Morley, Newsquest NUJ group coordinator, said: “With newsrooms throughout Newsquest so badly depleted after many years of constant job attrition, these latest cuts are a cruel blow to poorly paid professionals doing their best to make journalism work in a company that appears to show disdain for it.”
HTFP has approached Newsquest for a comment.