Council chief: ‘No more management cuts in Hartlepool’

NO MORE: Dave Stubbs
NO MORE: Dave Stubbs

A COUNCIL chief executive said his senior management team is at a stage where it cannot be stretched any further.

Hartlepool Borough Council chief, Dave Stubbs, said a “blunt instrument” has been taken to the management structure at the authority in recent years with the number of departments being cut from five to three and director posts axed.

But the council - which is set to agree cuts worth £4m for the 2014-15 budget this week - will further review staffing structures ahead of the 2015-16 budget process.

Last summer, the council agreed plans for a further restructure with three assistant director posts set to be deleted this spring as a result of the ongoing savings programme on the back of savage budget cuts from central Government.

Mr Stubbs has now called for no further changes to be made in the next 12-months.

Speaking at a finance and policy committee meeting, Mr Stubbs said: “We have taken a blunt instrument to the management structure and I don’t believe we can go any further.

“All of the senior management team, like the rest of the council, are working extremely hard.

“Everybody, from the highest paid to the lowest paid are putting in the effort to maintain jobs and to help save other jobs.”

Mr Stubbs added: “The senior officer structure of the council is now, I believe, at a level that cannot take any further rationalisation and equally well the senior structure within my department is also at that point.

“The financial outlook for 2015-16 means that services and therefore staff will reduce even further for that year and over the course of the next twelve months your management teams will be formulating plans that could see structures revisited, but I do not recommend any further restructuring for 2014-15 other than that already agreed.”

From spring there will be a director of child and adult services with three assistant directors underneath, down from four, and a director of regeneration and neighbourhoods, with two assistant directors.

There will be a director of public health and the chief executive’s department will include the chief executive, chief solicitor, assistant chief executive and chief finance officer.