£333k savings as four town hall top brass axed

JOB CUTS ... two-thirds of the posts to go at South Tyneside Council have been women.
JOB CUTS ... two-thirds of the posts to go at South Tyneside Council have been women.

FOUR senior management posts being axed at South Tyneside Council will save the authority more than £330,000, the Gazette can reveal.

The council is facing the biggest financial challenge in its history.

It has made £35m worth of savings in the last year, and must save another £20m in 2012/13.

Hundreds of jobs have been shed over the last 18 months through a voluntary redundancy programme in response to vastly reduced Government funding.

Now, the focus has turned to a restructuring of senior management as part of a bid to be ‘shaped to deliver’.

And four heads of service roles are being axed in the process – action which will save £336,000.

The jobs to go include the head of culture and neighbourhoods, filled by Tony Duggan, and head of economic growth, held by David Wright.

Additionally, two vacant posts are also to be deleted – head of transition and wellbeing, and head of area management.

Each role comes with an annual salary of £84,000.

Today, Martin Swales, the chief executive of South Tyneside Council, thanked the staff leaving the authority for their service, but defended the need to streamline senior management.

He said: “It is never easy to go through this kind of process, but overall staff numbers are reducing and it is only right that the management of the organisation should continue to reflect this.

“Those who are leaving us have made a valuable contribution to the borough during their time with the council.

“I would like to thank them, and wish them well in whatever they choose to do in future.

“We have managed our way through historically unprecedented savings.

“Our residents are telling us we should reduce our senior management costs, and keep our resources on the frontline.

“The review will contribute further to the management savings we have made since I took up the post in January 2010.”

Mr Swales said the authority remained committed to the regeneration of the borough.

He also revealed that a new post has also been created – again at a salary of £84,000.

The head of asset management is to oversee a review of the council’s property portfolio, establishing what to retain and what to sell.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazPaul