The slimmed down Department for Communities & Local Government has moved to appoint two new directors with regeneration supremo and former director of regions and communities Joe Montgomery losing out in the battle for the reduced number of posts.
A DCLG spokesman confirmed that Richard McCarthy, currently director general of housing & planning, would become director general of neighbourhoods, which includes housing and planning, with David Prout, currently director general of communities, to take the lead on localism as well as local government, fire, communities and the Big Society.
The decisions mark the end of a scramble for the department’s top jobs, with the DCLG’s six director generals - Andrew Campbell (efficiency, finance and policy), Joe Montgomery (regions and communities), Richard McCarthy (housing and planning), David Prout (communities), David Rossington (finance and corporate delivery), and Shirley Pointer (people capacity and change) - battling it out for three positions.
LGC understands the third and final post, director general of finance and corporate services, is likely to go to Shirley Pointer, currently director general of people, capacity and change, though the department has yet to confirm this.
A DCLG spokesman said Joe Montgomery, would leave the department at the end of January 2011, to “pursue a range of business interests in the field of sustainable urban development”.
Last week Irene Lucas, DCLG’s acting permanent secretary who previously held the local government DG post, announced she would be leaving.
In October, Sir Bob Kerslake, DCLG’s new permanent secretary warned that up to 40% of jobs at the department could go and that compulsory redundancies were “unavoidable”,
The department’s administrative budgets for the four years to 2014-15 were slashed by 33% in the Comprehensive Spending Review.
The DCLG spokesman added that a selection process is currently underway which will reduce the number of DCLG staff at the next most senior grade, director, from 21 to 15, with confirmation of these appointments expected before Christmas.
“In the New Year, the department’s work and staff will re-group under the newly appointed directors and directors general,” the spokesman said.