Hartlepool and Darlington councils plan shared post

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Darlington and Hartlepool councils have drawn up plans for a shared human resources post, in a bid to make savings of up to £50,000 a year each.

The joint assistant director would oversee management of all personnel, training, and health and safety issues.

Labour-run Darlington needs to make budget savings of £11.5m over the next two years, while Hartlepool, also Labour, needs to cut £10.2m.

If approved, the role would be divided equally between the two councils.

It is proposed that Hartlepool Council's current chief customer and workforce services officer, Joanne Machers, be offered the role.

The move would follow the retirement of Darlington Council's current assistant director of human resources in November 2011.

Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Council, said: "The new shared role is a sign of our willingness to work in new ways to make savings whilst remaining ambitious and responsive to the needs of Darlington residents."

Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond said: "This proposal ensures that levels of services cannot only be maintained, but improved, while saving each council £50,000 every year in the process."

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