Big cull of South Holland council’s managers

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JUST four of twenty top officers at South Holland District Council have been found roles in the authority’s new shared management structure.

The council has merged its top team with Breckland District Council in Norfolk in a bid to save about £300,000 and this week unveiled its new management line up.

South Holland chief executive Terry Huggins had already taken up the helm at the head of the joint team and he has overseen the move to cut 37 top officers across the two authorities into 18 positions.

The new structure shows Paul Jackson will be Planning Manager, Nigel Payne has been appointed as Environmental Health Manager, the new Building Control Manager will be Phil Adams, while Vicky Thomson is set to be Assistant Director Democratic Services.

The two officers directly below Mr Huggins in the new structure, Deputy Chief Executive Mark Stokes and Director of Commissioning Maxine O’Mahony, previously worked at Breckland, along with eight further ex-officers from the Dereham-based authority who have been given roles in the team.

Across both councils seven staff have taken voluntary redundancy or retirement while nine face compulsory redundancy.

Mr Huggins said: “We have made extremely quick progress in bringing the management team together and we are as far advanced as any other authority with shared services.

“We have said goodbye to good people who really helped South Holland. There are some challenges ahead and some good people moving on but we are happy we have got a really good team for the future.

“The success of this will be if people don’t notice a difference in the service they receive from the council.”

A total of 16 South Holland employees out of the 37 affected positions do not feature in the new team, which has four roles that are not filled.

Mr Huggins expects at least one of those may be filled by an external candidate, while bosses will look for “alternative and smarter” ways to fill the others in a way to maximise savings.

The council was graded ‘excellent’ by the Audit Commission at its last inspection.

Mr Huggins says that there are not currently any plans to continue to merge teams across all departments, but each service will be looked at to see if any savings can be made.