A senior management team is the first step to borough shared workforce
Wandsworth and Richmond Councils have unveiled a new single senior management team - the first major step in plans for a shared workforce serving both boroughs.
A new smaller top team will be jointly employed by both councils and be managed by a single chief executive. The Councils say that this will deliver savings of around £1.5million a year by reducing senior posts by 30 per cent.
It is hoped that the proposal will receive the backing of councillors in both boroughs when they meet to discuss the plans later this month.
The creation of a single workforce serving both authorities is a key element of plans published by both councils earlier this year.
The boroughs claim that forecasts suggest that joint working, with its greater opportunities for reducing overheads, saving back office costs and scope for getting better deals from suppliers - is likely to save taxpayers in each of the two boroughs up to £10million a year.
This collaboration and co-operation has already started in some areas, with joint procurements that aim to deliver savings quickly.
The Leader of Wandsworth Council, Ravi Govindia, said: “Today’s key announcement marks the first major milestone in our joint plans to deliver greater efficiencies and significant cost savings to our taxpayers. The fact that we’re delivering so much with Richmond in such a short period of time is testament to the strong relationship we’ve developed. It paves the way for us to continue protecting and delivering the important frontline services that our residents rely on by cutting back office costs, reducing overheads and saving public money.”
The Leader of Richmond Council, Lord True, said: “We have now agreed with Wandsworth a proposed approach with a shared officer structure from chief executive down. I am grateful for Wandsworth’s positive and open approach to partnership. We are confident that this structure will enable us to make the savings we need – whilst protecting each borough’s sovereignty. Our prime purpose is to deliver the services that local people need and want.”
The Minister for Local Government, Marcus Jones, said: “This is a really positive move by Wandsworth and Richmond. These can-do councils show there really is a way to reduce costs without reducing frontline services and sensibly merging operations without losing the local identity of each authority. I look forward to seeing how these plans develop and what other councils can learn from them”
Both councils will continue to be separate sovereign bodies with their own elected councillors, cabinets and leaders. They will each maintain their own distinct identities and retain the ability to develop policies and priorities that matter to their residents and businesses.
Under the proposals announced today, the two councils would be managed by a single chief executive, Paul Martin, who currently holds that post in Wandsworth. He would be supported by a new deputy chief executive director of resources Mark Maidment, who currently serves as Richmond’s director of finance and corporate services.
This new streamlined senior executive team would be fully implemented following the retirement of Gillian Norton, Richmond’s chief executive in September 2016 and Chris Buss, Wandsworth’s deputy chief executive and director of finance in March 2017.
In February 2015, the Government backed south west London’s sharing plans with £3million from its “Transformation Challenge Awards” which supports innovations that improve and protect public services and reduce the cost to taxpayers.
The report that will be considered by councillors can be viewed on Wandsworth Council website.
June 19, 2015