Plans to create a single staffing struture for Wandsworth and Richmond upon Thames LBCs are moving ahead, with interviews for chief officer posts in the combined staff structure due to take place this month.
A total of 38 chief officer posts are to be deleted and replaced by 12 new posts. The move is predicted to save £1.6 million a year.
Wandsworth chief executive Paul Martin, who is due to be the single chief executive across both councils from September 2016, said it was “too soon to say” how many job losses will be necessary but stressed they were top-loaded towards senior level roles. Two assistant directors at Wandsworth – in finance and education and social services – have already expressed an interest in taking early retirement, according to papers presented to Wandsworth BC executive this week.
The report on the shared management structure said staff reductions would often be achieved by staff taking jobs elsewhere or retiring.
It is predicted the combined arrangements – which will also see the councils share IT systems - will save each council around £10million a year.
The papers also reveal that consultants hired to advise on pay grades across the new arrangement have recommended the incoming deputy chief executive and director of resources should receive a 10 per cent salary premium to reflect the “additional duties and responsibilities” of the combined role.
The deputy chief executive role is due to be taken by Richmond’s director of finance and corporate services Mark Maidment, who is set to take over after the retirement of Chris Buss, Wandsworth’s deputy chief executive and director of finance.
Mr Martin said new appointees to senior roles would work as designates while spending the next year finalising the structures of the combined departments. He said he and his current counterpart at Richmond, Gillian Norton, had spent time with staff on both sides explaining the culture of the other organisation.
He said: “We appreciate that cultural change and IT are the two areas which are most important to get the right fit and it is hoped savings will grow year on year. Combined procurement and commissioning will help us have much bigger economies of scale.”