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Shake Up At NLC
New North Lanarkshire Council chief executive Paul Jukes has embarked upon a bold restructuring process that will result in the loss of several senior roles at the local authority.
The existing five executive director positions are to be scrapped and replaced by three assistant chief executives; while the total number of head of service posts will reduce by two from 18 to 16.
These changes, plus additional savings from a reduction in administration support for the obsolete roles, will result in estimated savings of more than £700,000 for the cash-strapped council.
Long-serving employees June Murray, currently executive director of corporate services, and finance and customer services boss Alistair Crichton are among those who will leave.
The executive director of learning and leisure services position currently held by the suspended Andrew Sutherland is to be replaced by a new assistant chief executive for children’s services, skills and youth employment position.
Other new assistant chief exec roles being created cover enterprise and housing resources and infrastructure, with a chief officer also serving health and social care.
The cull in senior positions follows the news in late October that a prospective 1100 jobs were under threat as the council faced up to £45m in budget cuts.
Mr Crichton and Ms Murray were among six senior council figures to take home a share of £750k during the last financial year.
Chief executive Mr Jukes, 56, who only took up his new role just two months ago, days before the announced budget cuts, hasn’t wasted any time in implementing his ideas.
He said: “The council is well established and provides some outstanding services.
“However, given the financial challenges we face and the changing nature of public services, I think it’s right that we develop new ways of working while being as streamlined and efficient as possible.
“Subject to council approval, I would expect the new structure to be in place by the end of March 2016. This is phase one of a wider programme but it is essential that we are focussed solely on outcomes, not processes.
“As the years have gone by we have fitted new and adjusted services into our existing structure and it’s important that we now look at this again.
“I’m determined that we improve economic opportunities, support all children to realise their potential and improve health and wellbeing, relationships with communities and partners and the council’s resource base.
“Change is everyone’s business and we must challenge established mindsets and be more creative. Everyone who works for the council to deliver vital services must aspire to deliver the best possible outcome for our residents, and for people who work in or visit North Lanarkshire.”