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District to review senior management ahead of move to committee model

Basildon Borough Council will undertake a review of its senior management posts ahead of a major change in the structure of the authority.

Ahead of the review, Basildon’s chief executive Bala Mahendran has made the decision to step down from his post, with effect from 31 July.

In May, the authority made the decision to move to a “more democratic” committee model, meaning that no one councillor is named leader. Instead members are appointed to committees to make decisions in different areas in a more collaborative fashion.

“Following the change in political structure at the council, it has been agreed that a review of senior management posts will go ahead,” a Basildon spokesperson said. “This is timely and appropriate, as the council is still holding vacancies in senior management roles. 

“A review is therefore the ideal opportunity to be even more efficient and see what roles are needed going forward.”

Following a Full Council meeting, Mahendran, the outgoing CEO, said: “The council passed a motion to engage in a member-led management restructure, which I have been speaking with the chairman of policy & resources about in advance. 

“There have been some significant changes at the council recently. We are moving into a new era politically – with a new decision-making system, and a new council leadership.

“At the same time the council, while having achieved a huge amount throughout austerity, still faces significant financial challenges over the coming years.”

Mahendran added that after 13 years heading up the authority and with the restructure on the horizon, now was the right time to step down and allow the authority to establish a “new, long-term officer leadership”.

“I have not taken this decision lightly,” he continued. “I started thinking about my future back in July 2013 when I took flexible retirement.

“I believe now is the right time, for the authority for myself and my family, to move on to fresh challenges and opportunities.”

The news also comes after the council was fined £150,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office for publishing sensitive information about a family in its area.

(Image: c. Basildon Council)

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