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GLASGOW HIGH FLIERS FACE THE SACK

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The Herald (p2)reveals that senior officials of Glasgow City Council are facing a restructuring of their authority ...
The Herald (p2)reveals that senior officials of Glasgow City Council are facing a restructuring of their authority which could see the disappearance of many top jobs paying between£60,000 and£100,000 a year. Leader Frank McAveety envisages the number of departments being cut from 21 to between 10 and 12. The possible merging of museums, libraries and performing arts as a new department of cultural services is one example. The council is under pressure to restructure given service cuts of around£47 million. A council spokesman is quoted:

'There are no formal proposals as yet. This is not about cutting services. It's about the merging of departments and looking at savings in a full year of between£4m and£5m.' Although education, social work, housing, and roads will stay as they are, there could be changes facing finance, information technology, and public relations, which could result in these being grouped together as one services department within the council. Additionally, under the best-value doctrine, the council might have to externalise some of these services.

Council restructuring is considered vital for the effective delivery of front-line services because so much officer time is spent servicing as many as 80 committees and sub-committees of the council. In such situations, the Herald claims, the only beneficiaries are councillors who continue to collect special responsibility allowances for being conveners and vice-conveners of committees.

According to the Herald, Unison official Frank Lynch is concerned that his union has not been consulted about the proposed restructuring. He is quoted: 'We haven't seen any proposals, written or otherwise, of how the administration would deal with the restructuring. I would take it this is the first stage and the leadership is speaking to individual officials. However, we expect full consultation in respect of our members who are senior officers.'
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