West Suffolk: Two new directors are appointed at councils

TWO new directors have been appointed in a shared role across Forest Hearth District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

Liz Watts, head of finance at St Edmundsbury, and Alex Wilson, corporate director for community at St Edmundsbury, will formally start their new roles from October 1.

The shared posts were created following the appointment of Ian Gallin as joint chief executive earlier this year and the agreement by both councils of the new management structure.

The next stage of creating a new, shared corporate leadership team will be the appointment later this month of nine heads of service, who will work across both councils.

Before the decision to share one senior management team the councils employed between them four directors and 15 heads of service, excluding the head of service at the Anglia Revenues Partnership which delivers the revenues and benefits service.

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The councils’ leaders, councillor John Griffiths and councillor James Waters, said: “This was an extremely thorough and robust recruitment process and we are delighted that we have successfully recruited two talented directors with the skills to take us into our new, shared future. There is a challenging job to be done, bringing the staff of two councils together to provide top quality services, and we are confident that Alex and Liz will help to provide strong leadership across west Suffolk. We look forward to working with them to shape the future.

“While the successful appointments are great news, we regret the impact this will have on the other excellent but sadly unsuccessful candidates.”

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The directors will work collaboratively with the chief executive on a range of projects, activities and partnerships across west Suffolk and will not have management responsibilities for individuals or services.

After the appointment, Ms Watts said: “I am very excited by the challenge and looking forward to working with staff, councillors and partners across West Suffolk to ensure we deliver great services to our residents.”

Mr Wilson said: “It’s a terrific privilege to have the chance to forge something new by supporting councillors to bring together staff from two councils so we can build upon the successes of each organisation.”

The councils expect to make in the region of �695,000 in savings from the management restructure, and �170,000 of this has already been achieved by moving from two to one chief executive.

The savings in senior management will make a “significant contribution” towards the �2.3million annual budget savings the councils intend to make by 2014/15.

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