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‘Dead wood’ to face the chop at Guildhall

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The leader of Northampton Borough Council has warned that some highly-paid senior managers at the Guildhall could face the chop.

Despite cuts being made to Guildhall management over a number of years, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm) has insisted the authority is still too “top heavy” and warned that some “expensive dead wood” would soon be removed.

He said: “There are still too many people on big salaries at the Guildhall. And there is no room in modern local government for people to simply coast until they reach the end of their careers. We need to provide a first class service for the people of Northampton.

“That means we need first class members of staff and any workers at Northampton Borough Council who do not perform will find themselves having a very short career here.”

The borough council announced last month that it was looking at plans to merge back office services – such as HR, legal services and revenues and benefits – with both the county council and other authorities in Cambridge and Norwich.

It is hoped the move will save taxpayers in Northampton more than £9 million.

Councillor Mackintosh said: “For years, Northampton Borough Council and the county council have never really 
co-operated.

“It seems crazy to me that we’ve got two large organisations, both with departments such as HR and IT on opposite sides of the road to each other, and both paid for by the taxpayer.”

About 200 positions at the Guildhall are currently being looked at to see if they could be transferred into the new merged organisation.

Councillor Mackintosh has admitted there could also be a small number of redundancies, but has insisted they would be “in the top layers of the organisation”.

He said: “As we look at next year’s budget, there will be another senior management review because as we change the way the council is run, we have to reflect that in the senior management structure.”

The deal to work with other councils is due to begin in April.

It is hoped a deal to merge back office services run by Northampton Borough Council with those offered by the county council and authorities in Cambridge and Norwich, will save more than £9 million, meaning front-line services in Northampton will not face the axe.

It is also expected that the saving will mean the leaders of Northampton Borough Council will be able to put forward a freeze in council tax when they reveal their budget plans next month.

Guildhall leader, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm) said: “We recognise people have got it tough in the current economic situation, so we’re proposing a zero per cent increase in council tax in the next budget because it’s important we don’t add to the burden on families that are struggling.”

He added: “We’re also working to make sure the budget is delivered in a way that has the minimum impact on front line services.”

 

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