Plans for shared management win approval

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COUNCILLORS have rubber-stamped plans to axe seven management positions as part of a move to share services between two authorities.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council unanimously approved the proposals – taking its shared services process with Forest Heath District Council, which also backed the plans, a step further.

Two strategic directors at Forest Heath and two corporate directors at St Edmundsbury will be replaced with two new posts, which will be known simply as directors. The new directors will work across all services rather than certain ones.

The authorities will also move from 14 heads of service to nine.

Savings from the move will not be known until the new management has been formed, which is due by October 1.

Bosses say the it will make a ‘substantial contribution’ to around £2.5 million of savings required by both authorities.

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury council, said: “Our staff at all levels whether they love it or not do understand this new change. Every day they’re facing the financial realities in delivering our services with fewer resources. The proposal will actually help them by streamlining the management, bringing teams closer together and making every penny count.”

Cllr Paul Hopfensperger asked whether the ‘ultimate goal was a joined up council’.

Shared chief executive Ian Gallin said: “I’m very clear about the brief I’ve been given which is to achieve the shared management team and staff restructure to support both councils’ sets of priorities and deliver financial savings.”