Dorset

Dorset councils merger: Bournemouth boss redundancy to cost £475k

Jane Portman Image copyright LDRS
Image caption Bournemouth Borough Council's managing director Jane Portman will continue her role until the end of March

Redundancy costs for a second council boss ahead of a planned merger will be almost £475,000.

Dorset's nine authorities are due to become two unitary councils in April.

Having missed out on the new Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council chief executive role, Bournemouth's current director Jane Portman has announced her departure.

In October, Dorset County Council boss Debbie Ward also said she would be leaving with the same payout.

Dorset County, East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, Weymouth & Portland and West Dorset councils will form a second council.

In August, the new Dorset authority said redundancy costs for four chief executives could cost £1m. The other new council has allocated £1.5m for redundancies.

'Greatly missed'

Ms Portman, who has worked for Bournemouth Borough Council for 12 years and previously at Poole for four years, had applied for the top position at the new council but lost out to HM chief land registrar, Graham Farrant, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

She is now in line for a £117,000 redundancy payout and a £355,000 pension contribution. She will continue her role until the end of March.

Image copyright Dorset County Council
Image caption Dorset County Council's chief executive Debbie Ward will also receive almost £475k

Bournemouth Borough Council leader John Beesley said Ms Portman had given "many years of excellent local government service" and would be "greatly missed".

He added: "She has been instrumental in driving forward the business case for change and delivering the new Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole council."

The chief executive roles at Christchurch and Poole councils will also be lost and combined into Mr Farrant's new position.

The government is proposing a cap on public sector exit payments of no more than £95,000.

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