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Neerhout slashes staff

London & Continental Railways is to make more job cuts following last month's appointment of Rail Link Engineering managing director John Neerhout as executive chairman.

The company will be rationalised from a workforce of 20 to a skeletal financial function, and will have a much smaller role in running the project.

Among the casualties are corporate affairs and government relations director Jeremy Candfield, who has worked on the project for seven years.

Candfield explained bitterly: 'I am being made redundant as part of the general slimming down of LCR's head office associated with the departure of Sir Derek Hornby, Adam Mills and a number of central services staff.'

LCR's office is also being closed down this week and the remaining activities will move to the Rail Link Engineering offices on Tottenham Court Road. The move fuels speculation that the management of the scheme is to be handed over to LCR shareholder and RLE partner Bechtel, with Railtrack providing financial backing.

An LCR spokesman refused to confirm the rumour, but said: 'It's a sensible piece of rationalisation to release accommodation. The fact that Neerhout is also chairman of LCR made it appropriate that the two teams should be closer.'

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