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4th Jul, 2022

Leader's Diary: Sharing a chief executive is next logical step for council

Malvern Editorial 25th Jul, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

Councillor David Hughes writes for the Observer.

I consider one of the most important things a council leader can do is to make sure the council is delivering the best services at the lowest cost to the tax payer and to keep the council’s overheads to a minimum.

We already benefit from many shared services with other councils in Worcestershire, especially Wychavon District Council, which have been very successful and have had significant savings to all councils involved.

The next logical step is to look at the possibility of sharing other resources, including some senior management.

To this end, we have recently agreed with Wychavon District Council to look at the possibility of sharing a chief executive with them.

The CEO sits at the top of the organisation, oversees all operational areas and implements the strategic direction set by council, representing the council at the highest level nationally.

There is much duplication in this role across districts and if this can be consolidated across two councils, there will be significant benefits to be had by both councils, financially and from a staff resilience point of view, offering economies of scale and more influence on the national stage. Many other councils, and indeed private companies, have gone down this route with great success and without the need to compromise on the organisations’ sovereignty.

This approach is being supported by Westminster and there is even a transformation fund available to help authorities move in this direction.

If our two councils adopt this proposal, there are likely to be further opportunities to improve the roles and resilience of other management functions, making for stronger organisations and greatly increased efficiencies, resulting in lower costs and charges for our tax payers. If we are brave enough to make use of this window of opportunity, I see this as a win win situation for both councils and the people they represent.

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