Chichester District Council set to cut senior staff

Chichester District Council headquarters
Chichester District Council headquarters

TOP jobs are set to go at Chichester District Council, as it morphs into a ‘lean, mean machine’.

A drastic restructuring of senior management would see the council make an annual saving of £306,000.

“We’re facing major changes as a local authority,” chief executive Diane Shepherd told the cabinet on Tuesday, having been tasked with reviewing the management structure in May.

The changes would see one of the council’s directors made redundant, as the current three posts are reduced to two.

In addition, the number of assistant directors would be reduced from 11 to seven.

The two new directors would be paid a £90,000-a-year salary, with no car allowance. This is equivalent to the current £85,000 salary with a £5,000 car allowance.

Cllr Myles Cullen praised the report carried out by South East Employers, which advised the council on the changes.

He added it would help CDC become ‘sharper and more efficient’.

“A five-year saving of £1.5m in this day and age – that’s exactly what we need.”

Mrs Shepherd emphasised at the beginning of the meeting the report was not about individuals, but rather the jobs they occupied.

“We’ve seen over the last three or four years a major reduction in our council funding,” she said.

“We do need to plan for a reduction in our resources.

“There are a number of other issues that are going to affect us in the future.”

Council leader Heather Caird said: “At the end of this we need to be a lean, mean machine here.

“It’s important we recognise this is about jobs, it’s not about people.”

The council’s current directors are Amanda Jobling, executive director of home and communities, Steve Carvell, executive director of environment and Paul Over, executive director of support services and the economy.

If approved at full council, the new structure would take effect from March 31, 2014.

A number of restructuring options were considered, however Mrs Shepherd felt the preferred structure would help the two directors become ‘fully engaged on the strategic direction of the council’.

The two director posts have been ring-fenced for existing directors only.

However, the cabinet report said the council reserved the right to advertise the posts externally if the internal candidates were not successful.

An unsuccessful director candidate would be made redundant and receive a minimum pay-off of £74,000, with a maximum of £142,000.

CDC’s cabinet approved the recommendation on Tuesday and it will now go to full council on September 24.