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Discussions started for joint chief
12:28pm Wednesday 14th May 2014 in News
TWO high flying positions at district councils in Worcestershire could become one in a move that is likely to see a saving of more than £100,000.
The savings will be made by Wychavon District Council and Malvern Hills District Council, which have begun talks about the possibility of a joint Chief Executive.
Informal discussions between leaders of both councils, councillor Paul Middlebrough for Wychavon and Cllr David Hughes at Malvern, have started to explore the merits of a shared arrangement.
Currently Jack Hegarty holds the role at Wychavon, which sees him head the council’s paid service, be the principal policy advisor, lead and direct the workforce of 220 full time staff and hold a net budget of £11 million. He is paid between £101,611 to £107,004 and has a car allowance.
Over in Malvern Chris Bocock holds the equivalent role, is paid between £100,000 and £104 999 and has a car allowance of £6,260 and variable electoral fees.
Cllr Middlebrough, said: "We have a long history of working together and sharing a significant number of services already, so these discussions feel like a logical step in the right direction."
The councils worked closely together during the creation of the South Worcestershire Development Plan and are both dominated by Conservative members.
A joint managing director would cement the relationship and allow both councils, which have targets for further cost savings in the coming years, as part of wider reductions in public spending, contribute significantly to those savings.
Cllr Hughes added: "We have been talking to colleagues in other councils where there are similar arrangements.
"This demonstrated to us that it is worth consideration by our respective councils and we are preparing proposals for discussion and debate.
"Also we have been encouraged by comments from the Local Government Minister, Brandon Lewis."
Officers and members at both councils have been informed of the discussions.
Whilst there are no details available at this early stage, a guarantee that each council will keep its independent identity has been confirmed.
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