Councils saved £870,000 by cutting bosses

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Savings from creating a joint management team have put St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath councils £383,000 ahead of their cuts target.

The new leadership team announced on Tuesday by joint chief executive Ian Gallin completes the first step to a joint services structure.

By replacing four directors and 15 department heads across the two councils with two directors and nine heads, Mr Gallin said they had saved £870,000. Ten staff were made redundant and six were redepolyed.

The two councils had a savings target for 2012/13 of £833,000 but have already saved £1,216,000 — 46 per cent more.

Mr Gallin said the next stage had started with a 90-day consultation with union Unison.

“Everyone recognises we need one pay structure,” he said. “We’re harmonising terms and conditions across both councils.”

Mark Johnson, West Suffolk Unison branch secretary, said: “We’re now doing a series of briefings for all our members and non-members to look at terms and conditions and bring that back to the table.”

Full story in Friday’s Bury Free Press