Plans could see council staff axed

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STAFF could be cut and £43,000 saved from two councils if plans to merge their communication teams are approved.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council have released a joint report urging councillors to approve £17,000 of transitional funding to support the changes.

If accepted, the councils hope to have the merged team – whose responsibilities include media relations, website content, customer service and project planning – in place by May 1, with staffing reductions expected.

The report, prepared by chief executives David Burnip and Geoff Rivers, will be seen by councillors in a meeting of the shared services steering group today.

It cites delivering savings, resilience, improvement and organisational change as the driving forces behind the proposals.

It states: “The vision for the shared communications service is to use strategic involvement to provide a proactive and cost-effective service which meets the communications needs of both councils’ internal and external stakeholders.”