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Combined authority to cut £180k staffing costs after protest

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Cambridgeshire & Peterborough mayor James Palmer (Con) and chief executive Martin Whiteley have proposed a cheaper staffing structure for the combined authority after earlier plans were called in by its scrutiny committee.

Earlier this month the combined authority’s scrutiny committee raised concerns when staff costs for 2017-18 were projected at £1.2m, an increase of £354,900 on original plans.

whiteley martin

whiteley martin

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough mayor James Palmer and combined authority chief executive Martin Whiteley

For the following year, the first full year all new staff were expected to be in post, the cost of staffing the authority was estimated at £1.8m - an increase of £946,500 compared to previous plans.

However, at the next CA board meeting, scheduled for 4 September, Mr Whitely will propose a staff structure with total 2017-18 costs of £1.02m, rather than £1.2m, according to the agenda.

In 2018-19, the proposed costs are now £1.27m, rather than £1.8m as planned in August.

The report explains costs have been reduced because the CA has reassessed when certain jobs will be taken up during the year; it has reduced the number of administrative support offers from three to two; and that where posts will contribute to capital projects, a proportion of those employees’ salaries will be charged to the capital project budgets.

The CA has also proposed to make changes to the way it makes decisions and provides papers for scrutiny. This comes after the scrutiny committee complained it had not been made clear how the staffing structure was drawn up, and that they did not receive proposals in good time in order to scrutinise them in detail.

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