Second Norfolk council in South Holland merger

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SOUTH Holland District Council is expected to rubber-stamp plans for a shared management team extending to a third council – Great Yarmouth Borough – when it meets in Spalding tomorrow (Wednesday).

The Spalding-based council began sharing senior managers with a Norfolk council, Breckland, around 18 months ago, and South Holland District Council leader Gary Porter says both authorities have saved around £500,000 since the link started.

He believes adding a third council will save South Holland a further £100,000 a year.

South Holland’s cabinet met last Tuesday and recommended approval of the three-way management merger.

The two-way merger brought management job losses and more are possible when Great Yarmouth is added to the mix.

In a recent interview, South Holland and Breckland joint chief executive Terry Huggins said the new joint management team will be smaller than the existing number, but some posts are already vacant.

He said: “We will do it with the minimum number of redundancies.”

It is expected Mr Huggins will keep the top job if the three-way merger goes ahead, but that’s not a certainty.

Speaking after Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, Coun Porter said: “It is my wish, obviously to save money, strengthen the team and not de-stabilise what we have already got.”

“This is a ground-breaking project which will see financial savings, the sharing of skills and the creation of greater resilience across three authorities.

“Though we do not share geographic boundaries we do share the same drive and ambition.

“By recommending this to council last night, cabinet started the process of welcoming Great Yarmouth Borough Council into this already successful project as an equal partner and we look forward to continuing on this innovative journey together.”

Breckland and Great Yarmouth are also expected to approve the merged management at their meetings on Thursday and Friday of this week.