Proposal to create joint management team could save £280,000

Creating a single senior management team to run Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils could save both authorities hundreds of thousands of pounds.

There are currently nine senior managers running both councils but the plan is to cut that to six which would save each authority £140,000 a year.

The two councils have already collectively saved £190,000 by sharing a Chief Executive/Managing Director, Head of Paid Service, Head of Housing and Planning and Head of Economic Development.

It is hoped the changes will be made through voluntary redundancies, which could cost an estimated £220,000. The money will come from a government grant both councils received to transform the way they work and not from money to run services.

The plan has been put forward by Chief Executive/Managing Director Jack Hegarty as part of the two councils' response to cuts to their government funding. Their main government grant has fallen by 53 per cent since 2010/11 and Chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce further cuts in his Autumn Statement on 25 November.

The changes would have no impact on the day-to-day delivery of services to residents and both councils would remain independent organisations.

Councillors will vote on the proposal in Malvern Hills on 20 October and Wychavon on 21 October. If approved it is expected to take 12 to 18 months to implement the plan.

Cllr Phil Grove, Leader of Malvern Hills District Council, said: "Despite facing severe cuts to our funding, we've made a commitment to protect front line services as much as we possibly can. That requires us to look at measures such as this.

"The important thing is we remain separate organisations and it will continue to be Malvern Hills councillors setting the priorities and making the decisions."

Cllr Linda Robinson, Leader of Wychavon District Council, said: "We've already demonstrated how sharing senior management can benefit both organisations as well as save money and this seems the next logical step.

"We have a very talented group of staff who I'm confident will be able to manage the changes to ensure the needs of Wychavon residents continue to be met and crucially, the decision-making will still be done by Wychavon councillors."