Labour leader claims council's service heads review did not save as much as it should have

By Tristan Harris Thursday 21 November 2013 Updated: 22/11 16:32

THE LEADER of Bromsgrove’s Labour Group has criticised the district council, claiming the heads of service review was not as financially beneficial as it should have been.

Coun Luke Mallett said whilst the move could have saved the councils £77,000 per year, there was a potential cost of more than £200,000 across Bromsgrove and Redditch Councils which would mean it would take three years to recoup any funds.

“It is not bad enough the council has lost valuable skills and experience in merging two critical and very different roles into one.

“But worse, not a penny of savings has been achieved for at least three years and the taxpayer is left to foot a bill likely to be well over £200,000.

“This is the mismanagement of our scarce public finances of the worst kind – how on earth could a decision with so much inherent risk ever have even been considered by Bromsgrove District Council.”

He added he felt the council’s capacity to effectively manage finance and customer service had also been dramatically reduced.

But Bromsgrove District Council leader, Coun Roger Hollingworth, said it was obvious that, in the root-and-branch transformation of the authority’s services, the fact management needs would change was part and parcel of any programme to reduce waste and improve efficiency.

“Indeed the senior management review showed that due to the big changes the council has made to the way it operates, one fewer senior manager was required to continue to successfully deliver council services.

“There are always costs and benefits to any proposed restructure.

“Both personal costs for the people directly involved, and remuneration costs too. But ultimately it is the business needs of the council that are paramount, and getting best value for our taxpayers.”

He concluded by saying that since 2008, the council had said that no change was not an option and in that time the authority had been highly proactive.

“You only have to look at the swingeing cuts that some councils are now having to make to see how Bromsgrove District residents are benefitting from our strong leadership and the tough decisions we have made in the public interest,” he added.

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