Scope cuts five senior positions, and more to come

Disability charity Scope is axing five senior posts and expects to lay off more staff soon.

The organisation blamed economic conditions for the redundancies, which will see the departure of the executive director of external affairs, the disability commissioner, the director of campaigns, the head of co-production and the head of the programme development unit.

The job losses are part of a series of cost-saving measures that have so far saved the charity £1m per year.

More redundancies will follow in the next few months, but figures are not yet confirmed, a spokeswoman for Scope said.

Alice Maynard, chair of Scope's trustees board, said: "This is pre-emptive action aimed at mitigating the full impact of a possible recession.

"Our commitment to disabled people's equality and human rights remains at the heart of our mission."

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Scope, said: "I am confident these measures will increase Scope's resilience during these challenging times and enable us to perform our role even more effectively and efficiently in the future."

The charity faces increased running costs and a slowdown in legacy income, a drop in investment value and delays in property sales, at a time of uncertain fundraising income from public donations.

Scope says it does not have substantial financial reserves.

A spokeswoman from the charity said it had gone from a serious deficit in 2005/06 to a small surplus this financial year, but predicts it will end the year with a minor deficit.

The charity is also using other measures to reduce overheads, such as cutting non-essential expenditure and reviewing purchasing arrangements.

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