Plans to cut the number of senior positions at Hartlepool Borough Council approved

Dave Stubbs
Dave Stubbs
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SENIOR councillors have agreed plans to cut the number of assistant directors at Hartlepool Borough Council as part of a restructure.

The local authority has already undergone major changes in recent years with the number of departments being cut from five to three.

But now plans for a further restructure have been agreed with three assistant director posts set to be deleted as a result of the ongoing savings programme on the back of savage budget cuts from central Government.

Councillors sitting on the finance and policy committee met to approve plans to cut the post of assistant director of resources and assistant director of community services from the council from March 31, 2014.

The vacant post of assistant director of neighbourhoods, previously held by current director of regeneration and neighbourhoods Denise Ogden, will also be deleted and the funding for 50 per cent of the head of human resources post, previously shared with Darlington, will also be saved.

In total the restructure proposals will achieve ongoing savings at the top of the grading structure of £231,000.

The responsibilities of the assistant director posts being cut will be shared out among other assistant directors under the new-look hierarchy.

Conservative group leader Ray Wells asked if the remaining chief officers would receive any additional money but Dave Stubbs, the council’s chief executive, said: “None of the chief officers will receive any more money.”

Under the new structure from next 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.

Mr Stubbs added: “I propose that this 2014-15 restructuring should not take place on March 31, 2014 but should be phased in as appropriate throughout the coming months so that by December 2013 the majority of functions will have transferred.”

The finance and policy committee approved the plans at the meeting at the Civic Centre.