Cuts will cost council dear

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IT is feared a proposed cull of senior managers could leave one Fylde coast council with a lack of experience.

Coun Roger Brook, chairman of Wyre Council’s Budget Scrutiny Group, said he believed removing confident and qualified staff was not the answer to the council’s financial problems.

The shake-up, announced earlier this month, will see the position of deputy chief executive and five director roles axed – if approved by the council next week.

It could save the authority more than £300,000 a year.

The senior staff will have to fight for three new super-posts or face redundancy.

It is hoped the restructure will help plug the £1.3m hole left by Government’s cuts.

But at a meeting, last night, Coun Brook said he could not see how the restructure would change anything.

He said; “In my view the old structure will do exactly the same as the new structure. I do not see how it will help.

“My concern is do we have the capacity to work with these changes and I’m not sure whether I’m whole heartedly in support of it.

“I’m conscious we are going to lose our experience and qualified staff and be left with managers that do not have the experience or the confidence to work with people outside this building. I think we should have decided what sort of business we want to be and then fit the structure around that.”

Supporting the changes, council leader Peter Gibson said the restructure would save front line services.

He said: “By implementing this plan we can keep front line services and start at the top and I think that is the right way to do it.

“It’s about working differently, we couldn’t keep things as they were and work differently it would have been impossible.

“We cannot hang on to the current management structure while losing 14 per cent of our total government grant.

“We will end up providing a better service and have a better run council.

Chief executive Donna Hall said the changes would encourage ‘one team’, ‘one council’.

She said: “We have looked at other district councils and this is the way most of them are moving.

“People lower down will make many more decisions and therefore will have a greater job satisfaction.

“We could look at this for another six months and still come up with the same restructure model because it will work.”

A final decision will be made at a meeting of Wyre Council on January 20.