Council shake-up down to budget cuts

This Is Wiltshire: Coun David Renard Coun David Renard

SENIOR positions in Swindon Council are set to be re-shuffled as a response to a cut in available funds.

Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created.

Among the changes will be the introduction of a Head of Education Services, a Head of Delivery Assets as well as a new Head of Streetsmart, created from the now defunct Head of Public Protection and Street Smart.

Council leader David Renard (Con, Haydon Wick) says it is being done as a result of cuts in government grants, which mean the council is not able to operate in the same way it did a number of years ago.

He said: “It is really being done in response to a reduction in the budget we have available. We have to be in a position to be able to meet the demand for services.

“We are not increasing the number of senior officers so there will be no extra cost. Unfortunately we no longer have the money we did five or 10 years ago so we have to act accordingly.”

The decision to bring in the change was agreed at a special committee meeting last week.

The Head of Streetsmart will be responsible for a number of tasks, including keeping the streets tidy from litter. Coun Renard says this is a perfect area where members of the public can help keep the costs down.

“When litter is thrown on the floor it then has to be collected at the council’s expense,” he said.

“This is where we are asking for people to make a small contribution. If you look at recent stories about people fly-tipping this is exactly the kind of thing that adds to the expense of the council.

“We are not in a position to offer the same litter collection service we may have had several years ago.”

The position of Head of Educational Services has been created partly in response to a statement from the chief of Ofsted that local authorities still have a part to play in education.

Coun Renard said: “Over recent years councils have had a smaller and smaller role to play in education but recently Sir Michael Wilshaw said we all still had a part to play.

“We have created this role to show we still have the correct level of accountability when it comes to schools.”

Comments (17)

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8:06am Tue 4 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

As if that is going to make a difference. Same useless idiots just with different job titles!
As if that is going to make a difference. Same useless idiots just with different job titles! house on the hill
  • Score: 1

8:32am Tue 4 Mar 14

swindondad says...

"Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created."

If the overall budget is being cut then would it not be sensible to start those savings at the top. I would have thought if anything management costs should go down, or am I being un-realistic?
"Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created." If the overall budget is being cut then would it not be sensible to start those savings at the top. I would have thought if anything management costs should go down, or am I being un-realistic? swindondad
  • Score: 6

9:28am Tue 4 Mar 14

Wildwestener says...

swindondad wrote:
"Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created."

If the overall budget is being cut then would it not be sensible to start those savings at the top. I would have thought if anything management costs should go down, or am I being un-realistic?
It is not that simple though is it.

For example, when I was a senior manager at my last job, I initiated a complete change in the way we did our work and cut my departments budget from £2m pa to £1.2m pa forever. I stayed in that job for 4 years. The saving that would have been made by sacking me from my £50k a year job would have been £200k over 4 years but the saving I made over same period was £3.2 million (i.e. me being there meant we spent £3m less). If the only people in the department were those doing operational roles then the big shift I made would not have happened. I carried on driving down costs and improving service for the next 4 years so actual savings were much higher than the £3m my original changes brought about over that time-span. At the end of the 4 years I was made redundant.
Not all senior managers in the public sectors are time serving bureaucrats. Some of us actually knew what we were doing and saved the taxpayer millions whilst improving services.
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: "Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created." If the overall budget is being cut then would it not be sensible to start those savings at the top. I would have thought if anything management costs should go down, or am I being un-realistic?[/p][/quote]It is not that simple though is it. For example, when I was a senior manager at my last job, I initiated a complete change in the way we did our work and cut my departments budget from £2m pa to £1.2m pa forever. I stayed in that job for 4 years. The saving that would have been made by sacking me from my £50k a year job would have been £200k over 4 years but the saving I made over same period was £3.2 million (i.e. me being there meant we spent £3m less). If the only people in the department were those doing operational roles then the big shift I made would not have happened. I carried on driving down costs and improving service for the next 4 years so actual savings were much higher than the £3m my original changes brought about over that time-span. At the end of the 4 years I was made redundant. Not all senior managers in the public sectors are time serving bureaucrats. Some of us actually knew what we were doing and saved the taxpayer millions whilst improving services. Wildwestener
  • Score: 6

9:29am Tue 4 Mar 14

Wildwestener says...

swindondad wrote:
"Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created."

If the overall budget is being cut then would it not be sensible to start those savings at the top. I would have thought if anything management costs should go down, or am I being un-realistic?
Someone has to manage it. You don't see successful private sector companies with no management do you?
[quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: "Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created." If the overall budget is being cut then would it not be sensible to start those savings at the top. I would have thought if anything management costs should go down, or am I being un-realistic?[/p][/quote]Someone has to manage it. You don't see successful private sector companies with no management do you? Wildwestener
  • Score: 7

10:13am Tue 4 Mar 14

swindondad says...

Wildwestener wrote:
swindondad wrote: "Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created." If the overall budget is being cut then would it not be sensible to start those savings at the top. I would have thought if anything management costs should go down, or am I being un-realistic?
Someone has to manage it. You don't see successful private sector companies with no management do you?
I did not suggest "No Management" but as the size of an organization (and its budget) contract changes can be implemented to the management structure to make it more efficient.

For Example, a large organization might warrant separate managers for “Occupational Health”, “Health & Safety” and say “Security” but as the size (and workload) reduces it should be possible to combine these into a single smaller less expensive “Health, Safety & Security” department. I am sure similar things could be done within other areas of any contracting organization.
[quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: "Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created." If the overall budget is being cut then would it not be sensible to start those savings at the top. I would have thought if anything management costs should go down, or am I being un-realistic?[/p][/quote]Someone has to manage it. You don't see successful private sector companies with no management do you?[/p][/quote]I did not suggest "No Management" but as the size of an organization (and its budget) contract changes can be implemented to the management structure to make it more efficient. For Example, a large organization might warrant separate managers for “Occupational Health”, “Health & Safety” and say “Security” but as the size (and workload) reduces it should be possible to combine these into a single smaller less expensive “Health, Safety & Security” department. I am sure similar things could be done within other areas of any contracting organization. swindondad
  • Score: 0

11:20am Tue 4 Mar 14

twasadawf says...

Several new Heads of departments all numpty's with no idea of what happens in the real world ,
Several new Heads of departments all numpty's with no idea of what happens in the real world , twasadawf
  • Score: 0

11:48am Tue 4 Mar 14

candid friend says...

For a start, the C.E. is overpaid by at least 50k.
The Tories panicked when things got out of control, and brought in c.e. after c.e. to try to turn things around. They kept leaving.
Every time this happened ,the salary was increased once again.
Eventually they gave the job to the officer who had been the Deputy, or some other title, who could have been appointed years earlier at a much lower salary.
Services, and payments, to councillors cost a fortune, and there are far too many councillors for a town the size of Swindon.
This is particulary so since the introduction of the anti-democratic Cabinet system, which means the majority of councillors have nothing to do.
For a start, the C.E. is overpaid by at least 50k. The Tories panicked when things got out of control, and brought in c.e. after c.e. to try to turn things around. They kept leaving. Every time this happened ,the salary was increased once again. Eventually they gave the job to the officer who had been the Deputy, or some other title, who could have been appointed years earlier at a much lower salary. Services, and payments, to councillors cost a fortune, and there are far too many councillors for a town the size of Swindon. This is particulary so since the introduction of the anti-democratic Cabinet system, which means the majority of councillors have nothing to do. candid friend
  • Score: 0

12:23pm Tue 4 Mar 14

ChannelX says...

Wildwestener wrote:
swindondad wrote:
"Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created."

If the overall budget is being cut then would it not be sensible to start those savings at the top. I would have thought if anything management costs should go down, or am I being un-realistic?
Someone has to manage it. You don't see successful private sector companies with no management do you?
True, but when did you ever see anything successful from the public sector?
[quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: "Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created." If the overall budget is being cut then would it not be sensible to start those savings at the top. I would have thought if anything management costs should go down, or am I being un-realistic?[/p][/quote]Someone has to manage it. You don't see successful private sector companies with no management do you?[/p][/quote]True, but when did you ever see anything successful from the public sector? ChannelX
  • Score: -1

1:44pm Tue 4 Mar 14

house on the hill says...

Wildwestener wrote:
swindondad wrote:
"Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created."

If the overall budget is being cut then would it not be sensible to start those savings at the top. I would have thought if anything management costs should go down, or am I being un-realistic?
It is not that simple though is it.

For example, when I was a senior manager at my last job, I initiated a complete change in the way we did our work and cut my departments budget from £2m pa to £1.2m pa forever. I stayed in that job for 4 years. The saving that would have been made by sacking me from my £50k a year job would have been £200k over 4 years but the saving I made over same period was £3.2 million (i.e. me being there meant we spent £3m less). If the only people in the department were those doing operational roles then the big shift I made would not have happened. I carried on driving down costs and improving service for the next 4 years so actual savings were much higher than the £3m my original changes brought about over that time-span. At the end of the 4 years I was made redundant.
Not all senior managers in the public sectors are time serving bureaucrats. Some of us actually knew what we were doing and saved the taxpayer millions whilst improving services.
Driving down costs and improving services are 2 very different things. Lots of places can just cut costs by cutting staff or the service they provide and finish up with giving a worse service. The thing the public sector don't seem very good at is providing a good value for money service, there is either massive waste and duplication of roles or they just cut staff or departments all together.

What annoys me about the public sector is that i am forced by law to pay for services i may not even need and have no ability to go elsewhere if I find the services i do need to be totally rubbish.

And most would agree not all public sector managers are useless, but in my first hand experience far too many of them were and are.
[quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]swindondad[/bold] wrote: "Several new positions will be created but this will not result in extra expense as some officers within the council will be leaving their current roles. The move will mean a new structure at the top of the council with the additional posts created." If the overall budget is being cut then would it not be sensible to start those savings at the top. I would have thought if anything management costs should go down, or am I being un-realistic?[/p][/quote]It is not that simple though is it. For example, when I was a senior manager at my last job, I initiated a complete change in the way we did our work and cut my departments budget from £2m pa to £1.2m pa forever. I stayed in that job for 4 years. The saving that would have been made by sacking me from my £50k a year job would have been £200k over 4 years but the saving I made over same period was £3.2 million (i.e. me being there meant we spent £3m less). If the only people in the department were those doing operational roles then the big shift I made would not have happened. I carried on driving down costs and improving service for the next 4 years so actual savings were much higher than the £3m my original changes brought about over that time-span. At the end of the 4 years I was made redundant. Not all senior managers in the public sectors are time serving bureaucrats. Some of us actually knew what we were doing and saved the taxpayer millions whilst improving services.[/p][/quote]Driving down costs and improving services are 2 very different things. Lots of places can just cut costs by cutting staff or the service they provide and finish up with giving a worse service. The thing the public sector don't seem very good at is providing a good value for money service, there is either massive waste and duplication of roles or they just cut staff or departments all together. What annoys me about the public sector is that i am forced by law to pay for services i may not even need and have no ability to go elsewhere if I find the services i do need to be totally rubbish. And most would agree not all public sector managers are useless, but in my first hand experience far too many of them were and are. house on the hill
  • Score: 4

2:05pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Several new positions available?
Where are these jobs advertised?
How would a person apply?
Several new positions available? Where are these jobs advertised? How would a person apply? Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 1

3:22pm Tue 4 Mar 14

beach1e says...

Just goes to show how flabby this council has been when it has been employing people it doesn't need. Im sure there are many more jobs that don't need to exist..Typical public service tho.
Just goes to show how flabby this council has been when it has been employing people it doesn't need. Im sure there are many more jobs that don't need to exist..Typical public service tho. beach1e
  • Score: -1

4:59pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Clippies says...

If the Council are so well aware of the problems of 'Fly-Tipping'; why are they introducing a scheme (Paid for Green Waste collection), which most probably will increase the act of fly-tipping, rather than reduce it???
If the Council are so well aware of the problems of 'Fly-Tipping'; why are they introducing a scheme (Paid for Green Waste collection), which most probably will increase the act of fly-tipping, rather than reduce it??? Clippies
  • Score: 1

6:29pm Tue 4 Mar 14

trustnopolitician says...

Same old conservative claptrap,

We need far fewer councillors and a mayor with executive authority.
Same old conservative claptrap, We need far fewer councillors and a mayor with executive authority. trustnopolitician
  • Score: -2

7:05pm Tue 4 Mar 14

madreeves says...

Badgersgetabadname wrote:
Several new positions available?
Where are these jobs advertised?
How would a person apply?
That is funny. Advertising won't be happening but plenty of ring fencing. It's the usual annual job shuffle - same people, different job title. As for him saying it won't cost any extra as some staff will be leaving, well, yes, but with what tidy redundancy package? And why create a job called "Head of Streetsmart" from the defunct "Head of Public Protection and Streetsmart". How can it be defunct if the job title is still there? Do we not have a Head of Public Protection anymore? If not, I take it the new role is at a lower salary? Or is the same bloke being moved over (with a protected salary of course) with his old job being classed as a saving (even though such saving therefore doesn't actually exist)? Questions, questions - we shall never know ....
[quote][p][bold]Badgersgetabadname[/bold] wrote: Several new positions available? Where are these jobs advertised? How would a person apply?[/p][/quote]That is funny. Advertising won't be happening but plenty of ring fencing. It's the usual annual job shuffle - same people, different job title. As for him saying it won't cost any extra as some staff will be leaving, well, yes, but with what tidy redundancy package? And why create a job called "Head of Streetsmart" from the defunct "Head of Public Protection and Streetsmart". How can it be defunct if the job title is still there? Do we not have a Head of Public Protection anymore? If not, I take it the new role is at a lower salary? Or is the same bloke being moved over (with a protected salary of course) with his old job being classed as a saving (even though such saving therefore doesn't actually exist)? Questions, questions - we shall never know .... madreeves
  • Score: 3

9:07pm Tue 4 Mar 14

MrAngry says...

trustnopolitician wrote:
Same old conservative claptrap,

We need far fewer councillors and a mayor with executive authority.
If that were the case, we would need to choose our mayor more carefully.
[quote][p][bold]trustnopolitician[/bold] wrote: Same old conservative claptrap, We need far fewer councillors and a mayor with executive authority.[/p][/quote]If that were the case, we would need to choose our mayor more carefully. MrAngry
  • Score: 1

1:18pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

madreeves wrote:
Badgersgetabadname wrote:
Several new positions available?
Where are these jobs advertised?
How would a person apply?
That is funny. Advertising won't be happening but plenty of ring fencing. It's the usual annual job shuffle - same people, different job title. As for him saying it won't cost any extra as some staff will be leaving, well, yes, but with what tidy redundancy package? And why create a job called "Head of Streetsmart" from the defunct "Head of Public Protection and Streetsmart". How can it be defunct if the job title is still there? Do we not have a Head of Public Protection anymore? If not, I take it the new role is at a lower salary? Or is the same bloke being moved over (with a protected salary of course) with his old job being classed as a saving (even though such saving therefore doesn't actually exist)? Questions, questions - we shall never know ....
We are not worthy to know our betters see to that.

Just a thought dont all jobs have to be advertised by law?
If ever there was a made up job title "Head of streetsmart" I would of loved to be in that meeting...Yes that`s a professional sounding enough title now on to lunch.
If it is not the same person it will be some cretin who wants the position (to feel important) rather than doing the job. I have no problem with someone being paid well to do a job right but that isnt happening.
If there is a big enough saving does that mean they can do the job to an even lower level?

Small minded, bitter, far removed from reality, obsessed with numbers that mean nothing this could be a job for you.
[quote][p][bold]madreeves[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Badgersgetabadname[/bold] wrote: Several new positions available? Where are these jobs advertised? How would a person apply?[/p][/quote]That is funny. Advertising won't be happening but plenty of ring fencing. It's the usual annual job shuffle - same people, different job title. As for him saying it won't cost any extra as some staff will be leaving, well, yes, but with what tidy redundancy package? And why create a job called "Head of Streetsmart" from the defunct "Head of Public Protection and Streetsmart". How can it be defunct if the job title is still there? Do we not have a Head of Public Protection anymore? If not, I take it the new role is at a lower salary? Or is the same bloke being moved over (with a protected salary of course) with his old job being classed as a saving (even though such saving therefore doesn't actually exist)? Questions, questions - we shall never know ....[/p][/quote]We are not worthy to know our betters see to that. Just a thought dont all jobs have to be advertised by law? If ever there was a made up job title "Head of streetsmart" I would of loved to be in that meeting...Yes that`s a professional sounding enough title now on to lunch. If it is not the same person it will be some cretin who wants the position (to feel important) rather than doing the job. I have no problem with someone being paid well to do a job right but that isnt happening. If there is a big enough saving does that mean they can do the job to an even lower level? Small minded, bitter, far removed from reality, obsessed with numbers that mean nothing this could be a job for you. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 0

1:20pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

trustnopolitician wrote:
Same old conservative claptrap,

We need far fewer councillors and a mayor with executive authority.
Wouldnt that be nice...
Never going to happen though...A working environment with people being held responsible? maybe in the real world but not in politics.
[quote][p][bold]trustnopolitician[/bold] wrote: Same old conservative claptrap, We need far fewer councillors and a mayor with executive authority.[/p][/quote]Wouldnt that be nice... Never going to happen though...A working environment with people being held responsible? maybe in the real world but not in politics. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 0

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