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Essex districts to decide on sharing

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Councillors in two Essex districts are to discuss proposals this month to share a chief executive.

A meeting of Braintree DC’s cabinet to be held next week is set to discuss the pros and cons of sharing a management team.

A report by chief executive Allan Reid notes that potential financial savings must be judged against disadvantages such as reduced management capability.

Councillors have been told that most of the sharing districts already in existence are around two-thirds of the size of Conservative-controlled Braintree and Colchester, which is under no overall control.

They are also asked to consider whether they have trust and confidence in their opposite numbers in Colchester and warned that the pair would have to be careful to avoid a “take-over syndrome” developing in the arrangement.

Colchester’s full council is also set to discuss the plans next week.

If councillors support the move a joint member group will scope out the plans before a final decision is made in September in time for a joint chief executive to be appointed in October and a senior management team to be in place by March 2012.

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