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PITT URGES SWINDON SHAKE-UP

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Swindon BC faces radical structural change if members back plans by interim chief executive Mike Pitt to reshape th...
Swindon BC faces radical structural change if members back plans by interim chief executive Mike Pitt to reshape the struggling council.

Mr Pitt has called for five directorates to replace the present eight, each of which would be led by a group director on a substantially higher salary than those paid at present.

He said Swindon had to compete nationally for managerial talent.

Mr Pitt took charge in March (LGC, 4 March) after Swindon received a 'weak' comprehensive performance assessment rating following two years in the lowest 'poor' category.

His plans include relocation of all staff to the council's central building, a 24-hour telephone contact centre and more independence for in-house contractor Swindon Services.

The new directorates will be children, housing and social care, environment and leisure, resources, and partnerships and performance.

Group directors will be paid£117,000, and service directors between£45,000 and£96,800.

Mr Pitt will be at Swindon until autumn next year. His successor will be paid£150,000.

He said: 'I am deliberately recommending to councillors that these posts have higher salaries. I want to retain and attract the very best people to come and work at this council.'

There would be no need for job losses, he added.

Mr Pitt said: 'I will invest heavily in a leadership training and development programme, as cultural change is needed.

'We are trying to create a 'can do' culture and an ultra-modern flexible organisation, but we want to do it in one go, so there is no time to lose.'

His report urged councillors and senior staff 'to reduce the number, size and length of meetings, which take up so much time and energy'.

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