Council combines two executive roles to save over £400,000

Two senior executives at an Essex council have agreed to leave the authority in anticipation of their jobs being rolled into one in a bid to save over £400,000.

Harlow Council’s chief executive, Malcolm Morley, and chief operating officer, Graham Blanchett, will both leave their posts to be replaced by a single managing director position.

Morley will leave at the end of October pending the recruitment of the new managing director whilst Blanchett is expected to leave at or before 31 July. 

The move will save the council more than £424,000 over the next four years, the authority has claimed, and needs to happen to ensure the council keep up with government funding reductions by 2021.

Cllr Jon Clempner, leader of Harlow Council, said that his priority is to always consider options to save money and ensure that frontline services are protected for residents.

“Whilst a huge amount has been achieved to reduce costs and to protect services we now have to look further at our senior management team costs again,” he explained. “Reducing the council’s most senior management structure to one post will not impact on frontline services but will help to protect services and other jobs in future by contributing significantly to meeting the overall level of savings the council will need to make.

“Malcolm and Graham have made a big contribution to the council and to Harlow over their combined 31 years of service and I wish them well for the future.”

The news follows Bournemouth Borough Council taking a similar decision to make its CEO position redundant in anticipation of six Dorset councils, including Bournemouth, becoming two unitary authorities by 2019 – making the CEO position an unnecessary cost. While this will initially cost the council £400,000, local authority officials forecast that it will yield much-needed savings of £164,000 per annum.

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