Meeting over Sandwell council managers cuts plans

Image caption,
Councillor Darren Cooper will lead discussions on a new structure

A shake-up that would cut the number of a Midlands council's top managers by half, saving more than £1m a year, will be discussed at a meeting.

Talks will be held on a new set-up at Sandwell Council, which would cut the top tier of management from 26 to 13.

Members will be asked to approve the recommendations of a report into the changes at the Council House, Oldbury.

Leader of the council Darren Cooper said the aim was "to redirect resources to where they are needed most".

The Labour-controlled authority currently has a chief executive, four executive directors, five directors and 16 heads of service.

The plan is to replace that system with a chief executive, two corporate directors and 10 directors.

'Most radical change'

There will also be a service director for joint health and care commissioning funded by both the council and the primary care trust.

If approved, the council said it aimed to have the new structure in place by the end of the financial year.

Mr Cooper said, given the cuts imposed by central government, "this new structure will help us to do our utmost to protect frontline services in the interest of local people".

He said: "The old structure may have been what the council needed in the past, but this is a structure for the future.

"This is the most radical change that Sandwell Council has seen in its history."

The restructuring proposals have been finalised after consultations to draw up the most cost-effective and efficient new council leadership, the authority said.

The meeting was scheduled to start at 1800 GMT on Tuesday.

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