Former mayor loses council job advising immigrants

Ranjula Takodra
Ranjula Takodra

A council officer who helps immigrants settle in the community has been made redundant as part of a raft of cuts to save the authority £50 million.

Ranjula Takodra has lost her Bucks County Council position as an advisor and information officer in collaboration with the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Her role involved integrating those with language barriers into the community, as well as pointing them to the right people with regards to issues such as benefits, housing and immigration.

The redundancy comes despite thousands of people signing a petition and writing letters to save her position.

Ranjula, who is in her 50s, says she is upset to say goodbye to the position.

The former Aylesbury mayor said: “I’m devastated – not only for myself, but for those who will need my services.

“I have given my life to the people of this town, and I want to say a big thank you to those who signed the petition and wrote letters of support.”

Kenyan-born Ranjula estimates she saw more than 25 people face-to-face each week, and that figure does not include phone consultations.

The mother-of-two, who lives in the town centre, expressed her concern over the lack of provision now in place to help people from minorities.

Cabinet member for community engagement Martin Phillips said: “In an ideal world we’d love to continue funding everything we used to provide. Unfortunately, the reality is we just can’t.

“We are working closely with the district council and the CAB to see what alternative arrangements can be put in place to mitigate the effects.”