Babergh/Mid Suffolk: 30 jobs to be axed as councils forge ahead with plans to integrate services

MORE than 30 jobs are to be axed saving �1million-plus as Babergh and Mid Suffolk continue to integrate their services, it was announced today

A team of new corporate managers serving both authorities is in the process of being recruited – so far 30 have been appointed and another four posts are still to be filled.

The entire shake-up has led to a reduction from 81 posts to 46, a reduction of 35 saving an estimated �1.2 million.

Much of the cost-cutting has been made through natural wastage, early retirements and people choosing to leave, but there will be some redundancies, thought to be in single figures, said Tim Passmore, leader of Mid Suffolk Council.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk – which cover a huge area of the county, including suburbs of Ipswich like Pinewood and Bramford, have now completed the first phase of their re-shaping.

The new team is headed up by chief executive Charlie Adan, supported by strategic directors Mike Evans, Lindsay Barker, Andrew Hunkin, and Mike Hammond.

The new management board is supported by four heads of service, for communities, housing, environment, and economy.

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The two councils began integrating their staffing structures after residents voted against a merger in a poll last year.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk need to find a further �3.5m of savings each over the next three years.

Mr Passmore said: “What we must do now is rethink our priorities.

“For me, the economy is key. We need to decide what we can do to support its recovery here in Suffolk. We may have less money to spend but the government has given us greater freedoms and flexibilities as to what to do with our resources.”

The response of Babergh and Mid Suffolk to the financial crisis facing local government follows that of other local authorities across the county.

Earlier this year Suffolk County Council culled 15 senior managers.

And the county is undertaking an ongoing shake-up that will see the overall wage roll at Endeavour House fall by about 3,000 over the next year – most of those jobs are being “outsourced” to external bodies such as that which is taking over the county’s library service.

Last month the Star revealed that Ipswich council is having a major shake-up which will see seven senior managers’ posts go.

And there have been changes at Suffolk Coastal as the council increasingly shares its services with those up the coast at Waveney.

Will the changes make local government more effective in Suffolk? Tell us your views.

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