Oct 26 2011

Harrow Council management restructure aims for annual £1m saving

Harrow’s chief executive Michael Lockwood has launched a four week consultation on a proposed restructure of the Council’s most senior staff.

It forms part of the Council’s transformation programme that aims to protect front line services for residents despite having to find savings of £60m over four years in response to reductions in government funding, inflation and other pressures.

Under the proposals, the senior management team will reduce from eight to five, with the merger of a number of Council departments. They include:

  • Combining the current place shaping and community & environment directorates into a new environment and enterprise directorate
  • Merging services in the finance and chief executive’s directorate with legal and governance services, to be overseen by a new corporate director of resources.
  • Adding the community and cultural services, to the existing adults and housing directorate to be overseen by a new corporate director for community health and wellbeing.
  • To reduce the number of managers reporting into the new senior management team.

Work has already begun with a number of management reductions currently delivering savings of £370,000.

The full proposals and feedback from staff will be presented to the Council Cabinet in December for approval.

Mr Lockwood said: “We are very conscious that residents and businesses are feeling the pain of the country’s economic problems. This means we are working very hard to find savings that do not impact on the front line services they value and rely on.

“Our current senior management structures were put in place three years ago and the Council has come a long way in this time, to now be recognised as one of the best in the country.

“However, given the cuts to public sector spending and the Government’s plans for public service reform, I believe it is time to put in place new arrangements, which in my view will better meet the challenges we face going forward.

“My aim in making these changes is to further build on the successes we have achieved and more importantly continue to improve our residents’ views of us in terms of the quality of services we provide.”

Cllr Bill Stephenson, Leader of Harrow Council, said: “Our staff are a wonderful asset and in recent years have helped this Council be recognised as one of the best in the country.

“We are managing a very challenging financial situation of cuts in funding from Government combined with rising costs of inflation and other pressures. It means we have to find savings that equate to a third of our controllable costs in just four years.

“Through innovation and imagination we are reforming this Council to protect or improve the services our residents rely on.

“As we look for new, more efficient ways of providing services, we also have to very look closely at our staffing arrangements to make sure that we are getting value for money and that they are fit for purpose.”

Source: Harrow Council

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