The chief executive of South Holland District Council has conceded that it could lose some of its top officers as part of a streamlining restructure.
The jobs of some of the best talent – and highest earners – are at risk, although they have the chance to apply for new posts.
Thirteen are being advertised publicly under a shake-up of the local authority’s shared manage-ment partnership with Breckland Council in Norfolk.
The councils’ head of economic development Mark Stanton left on June 26 through redundancy, and a report says democratic services and legal manager Vicky Thomson is due to leave her current position “very soon” as part of the restructure.
It’s thought about 15 top roles are affected, while new posts created for South Holland include:
- planning and building control manager
- communities manager
- housing landlord manager
- chief accountant
- inward investment manager
Chief executive Anna Graves said: “The 13 vacancies being advertised are not all ‘additional’ posts.
“Savings will continue to be made by sharing the management team between the two councils.
“The new structure will support the development of a whole council approach to transformation which will improve performance and efficiency.
“Existing staff can apply for the vacant posts. It is possible that the restructure may result in redundancies, for example if colleagues do not choose to apply for one of the new roles or are not successful in securing one of those posts.”
News of Mr Stanton’s departure did not go down well with the president of Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce.
Phil Scarlett said: “In my mind economic development is one of the engines of the council. If we’re bringing new companies and investment into the district, to some degree, everything else takes care of itself.”
He added: “I’m disappointed to see Mark leave, particularly as it depletes the current economic development team at South Holland, which is basically two people at the present time.
“A number of projects which Mark was involved in will presumably be put on the backburner now.”
Leader Gary Porter told The Voice that the restructure was not driven by savings but strengthening the council, particularly in key revenue streams such as its new housing company.
In a general statement issued by the council, he said: “I am committed to building South Holland District Council as a new ‘free council’, keeping the council tax low and becoming financially independent of central government funding so we can drive enterprise and community growth for the benefit of local residents and businesses and to do so we are launching a drive to bring the best manager talent to our transformational shared management team.”
The council says the new structure includes a “leaner and more strategic executive management team” of eight, with responsibility for a range of services all connected via themes such as growth, income and prosperity.
The structure has been designed to ensure scalability to include a third partner in the future.