Northern Big Issue lays off three of its editorial staff

The Big Issue in the North has announced three editorial redundancies.

The cuts are linked to on-going plans to centralise the magazine’s editorial nationwide. Staff were told the content would come largely from London.

The positions affected include the role of deputy editor, arts editor and senior designer, leaving the title with just an editor, news editor and designer.

The Big Issue has come under fire from the NUJ for only paying staff, who have been affected by the redundancies, the statutory minimum.

NUJ North of England organiser Miles Barter said: “As an organisation with social responsibility at its core, we had hoped they would have found a bit more. It seems quite harsh.

“It is another example of the media concentrating everything in London.”

The Big Issue in the North unveiled a new editor and revamp last September when former deputy editor Ato ErzzanEssien stepped up to become editor.

He said of the redundancy payments: “The fact is, it is the best deal we could offer them. If we did give generous redundancy packages we would probably get criticised, so we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.”

A year ago Tim Lezard, editor of The Big Issue in the South West, lost his job as a result of the cuts, following previous redundancies in London and the closure of the Midlands edition.

By Ruth Addicott

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