Search

It will save you ££££s

PUBLISHED: 09:02 03 September 2010 | UPDATED: 09:50 16 September 2010

HOUSEHOLDERS in Waveney were promised this week that a plan to merge council management teams would help deliver the best possible services and save thousands of pounds of public money.

HOUSEHOLDERS in Waveney were promised this week that a plan to merge council management teams would help deliver the best possible services and save thousands of pounds of public money.

Waveney District Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council already share a chief executive and work closely on a number of projects. But next week, officials at the two neighbouring authorities are to discuss moves to take their collaboration a step further.

Under the proposals, four senior directors' posts could be merged and shared between the two councils along with nine “head-of-service” positions, saving an estimated £250,000.

Some people have voiced concerns that the move would lead to a full merger that would create a single authority covering an area stretching from Corton in the north down to Felixstowe in the south, making it too big to address the specific needs of Lowestoft and the surrounding area.

But Waveney council leader Mark Bee told The Journal: “This innovative partnership is geared towards the delivery of the best possible services for our customers in Waveney and Suffolk Coastal, while helping us address the financial issues faced by all councils in this current climate.

“So far the partnership is set to save over £400,000 and the proposals being presented next week have been drawn up by the shared chief executive as part of our on-going commitment to sharing effective and efficient services.”

Suffolk Coastal District Council leader Ray Herring said a full merger of the two councils was something that could “happen in due course”.

In a move Mr Herring said was “pioneering”, the joint management team, with strategic directors, heads of service and senior managers could be put in place this autumn.

He said the proposals would save around 30pc of management costs for Suffolk Coastal.

For the last two years the councils have shared their chief executive Stephen Baker, head of planning Phil Ridley as well as other officers.

During that time Mr Herring said the two organisations had been preparing for the merger of policy and service delivery.

“We have got to reduce our costs by between 20 and 30pc over the next year or two and we have got to manage that reduction, otherwise it will mean council tax payers will have to pay much more. It is about delivering better value for money,” he said.

The councils plan to keep redundancies to a minimum.

The authorities' joint partnership board will meet next Wednesday and formal debate on the issue will take place at a simultaneous cabinet meeting, with all councillors invited on September 13.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists