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Cross-county management to save £1m a year

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Two district councils looking to share their senior management teams across county boundaries believe they could save more than £1m a year.

Cherwell DC and South Northamptonshire DC councillors are to examine a plan to halve the number of senior manager positions from 30 to 15.

The business case recommends a single chief executive, a reduction from five to three directors and 14 to eight service heads. Corporate performance, communication and programme management roles will also be reduced from seven to three under the plans.

One-off costs including redundancy packages have been estimated at £1.3m which the councils would pay off over a couple of years.

The joint working group has also calculated that a further 15% to 25% could be saved on staff costs in future years as the ranks below heads of service are brought together.

Councillors on the working group have suggested that the new structure should be “put in place quickly” before March next year, although the results of a staff consultation are yet to be examined.

In a statement to staff, the chief executive’s of the two councils – Jean Morgan at South Northants, left, and Mary Harpley at Cherwell – said: “Sharing a senior management team between us will not remove the need for both councils to make other savings.

“However, working together would open up options unavailable previously to either council in the long term and allow us to protect more services for the longer term.”

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