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County abolishes CEO position in bid to save £300,000

Derbyshire County Council’s CEO has left his position this month after the local authority decided to abolish the post, and that of two other top-tier executives, in a move to save the cash-strapped organisation £300,000.

After starting at the authority in 2007 as the director of environmental services, Ian Stephenson became the CEO of the county four years ago.

However, at a special meeting of the Full Council in July, the local authority voted to abolish the top senior executive role, along with the assistant chief executive and strategic director of corporate resources. It is estimated that the move will save the county council £300,000 in management costs.

Cllr Barry Lewis, leader of Derbyshire County Council, said that Stephenson has worked hard over the last decade for the local authority, “and we recognise the contribution he has made to the authority and the commitment he has given”.

“However, we have a duty to Derbyshire residents to use their money as efficiently and effectively as possible,” he added. “There is no intention that the council will be making any ‘golden handshake’ payments. It's about doing things differently and making bold changes.”

After abolishing the three senior management roles, the county has created a new post: strategic director of commissioning, communities and policy. This will focus on ensuring the council is providing high-quality services and good value for money. The recruitment process for this role has started.

Cllr Lewis explained that as well as cutting costs on senior managers, “we’ve also reduced the allowances paid to our councillors holding positions on Cabinet by around 12%, saving the council just under £29,000 a year”.

The council is currently consulting with affected employees and it is expected that the new management structure will be implemented towards the end of the year.

Stephenson is the latest local authority CEO to see his position axed, with Bournemouth Borough Council voting to remove the chief executive role from the council earlier this year.

(Image: c. Dave Bevis)

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David Morrish   29/08/2017 at 22:03

This outcome is no real surprise as the Executive responsibility once associated with the " top officer" has increasingly been felt as threatening the Role of the Elected Leader of a Cabinet ruled authority - why pay for a dog when you want to do all the barking - all you need is a scapegoat preferably an arm's length Consultancy

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