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Newcastle unveils management shake-up to save £500,000

Newcastle City Council has announced plans for a radical restructuring of its management team, including the abolition of two senior posts, as it struggles to balance its budget.

This week, the council’s constitutional committee approved the restructuring plans, which are based around three directorates: people, places and resources.

The changes are expected to save £500,000, to help meet a £30m budget gap over the next financial year. The restructuring will see directors appointed to head the people, places and resources divisions. Transport policy and operations will be brought together under a new single assistant director within the place directorate.

There will also be a new senior management role within the assistant chief executive’s team to develop a more sustainable and cohesive waste strategy for the city and beyond.

Pat Ritchie, the chief executive of the council, said: “The council is a much smaller and more agile organisation than it was in the past and we will continue to ensure that our management arrangements keep pace with change and are fit for purpose.

“These changes will deliver significant savings in the next financial year, helping us to maintain frontline services for local people.”

Mick Murphy, the council director of communities, has offered his voluntary redundancy, whilst Steve Park, the assistant director of policy and communications, has left to take up a new job. Both posts will now be abolished.

Ritchie thanked Murphy and Park for their “hard work, help and support”, and paid tribute to Murphy’s “exceptional leadership” in directing the council’s response to the 2012 floods in Newburn.

Newcastle City Council has cut its management posts by 26% since 2012 and its overall jobs by 20%. It is planning to deliver £70m of funding cuts over the next three years, despite board papers revealing it was warned over the risk of legal challenges to changes to social care and other services.

(Image c. Glenn Bowman)

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