Proposed shake up at Hartlepool Borough Council could save £143,000

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A proposed shake up of senior management to a council department would save the authority over £140,000.

Gill Alexander, chief executive of Hartlepool Borough Council, says the current structure of its Regeneration and Neighbourhoods Department is “not fit for purpose”.

One senior post from the department is set to be removed as one of a number of proposed changes to its existing structure.

Ms Alexander outlined in a report how the proposal – most of the details of which are confidential – will produce a recurring annual saving of up to £143,760.

But the council could face one-off redundancy and pension costs totalling £410,928.

Ms Alexander said the changes she is proposing will help the Regeneration and Neighbourhoods Department to better achieve the council’s ambitions for future growth.

Since taking up the job as the authority’s most senior officer a year ago, Ms Alexander said she had reviewed the structure of each council department.

She said of the Regeneration and Neighbourhoods Department: “The existing structure has developed over time as senior officers have left the council, enabling savings to be made, however, the current structure has developed piecemeal without strategic planning and isn’t fit for purpose for the future direction of the council and local government.”

Ms Alexander said the changes she is proposing will streamline services to give greater focus within the separate functions of the department.

She added: “Essentially, what I am looking to do within the department is change arrangements whereby some areas are consolidated, strengthen the approach to economic growth and regeneration in the town and achieving housing growth within the town.

“Also look at ways in which to get greater focus in the neighbourhood section for how to improve the environment in the town.”

Ms Alexander added: “The Regeneration and Neighbourhoods Department has a significant role to play in achieving the council’s ambition not only through the delivery of the Town Centre/Waterfront masterplan, but also through the provision of responsive quality frontline services in our neighbourhoods and communities.

“The department is the trading arm of the council and it is more important than ever that we maximise our efforts to stimulate growth, generate income and develop commercial opportunities.”

Hartlepool Joint Trades Union Committee said it fully recognises the need for a corporate restructure starting with the Senior Leadership Team.