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Districts discuss sharing single senior management team

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Two district councils in Worcestershire are considering creating a single senior management team in a bid to save £280,000 a year.

Members on Malvern Hills and Wychavon DCs are set to discuss cutting the number of senior managers both councils employ by a third – from nine to six – with a view to using the money saved to protect frontline services.

It is “hoped” the reductions can be made through voluntary redundancies, a statement issued by both councils said.

The cost of making the redundancies is estimated at £220,000 but the statement added the money for that would come from a transformation grant from central government.

The two councils already share chief executive and managing director Jack Hegarty, as well as head of housing and planning Gary Williams, and head of economic development Phil Merrick. That arrangement saves both councils £190,000 collectively.

Linda Robinson (Con), Wychavon’s leader, said: “We’ve already demonstrated how sharing senior management can benefit both organisations as well as save money and this seems the next logical step.”

Malvern Hills’ leader Phil Grove (Con) said both councils will “remain separate organisations” and added: “Despite facing severe cuts to our funding, we’ve made a commitment to protect frontline services as much as we possibly can. That requires us to look at measures such as this.”

Councillors will vote on the proposal in Malvern Hills on 20 October and in Wychavon the following day. If the plan is approved it is expected it would take 12 to 18 months to implement.

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