Job axe to save £80,000 each year at authority

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PLANS to provide a “minimum council” in response to Government funding cuts took another step forward, after proposals to “delete” an £80,000-a-year manager’s job were approved by Barnsley councillors.

Barnsley Council’s chief executive Phil Coppard and Labour leader Steve Houghton unveiled plans to strip the local authority back to the bare minimum after the Government announced severe austerity cuts.

At present, senior officers and councillors are completing a series of so-called key lines of enquiry, which are supposed to be highlighting areas where efficiencies can be made.

The decision will see the scrapping of the post of assistant executive director for access to services, which included responsibility for libraries and the Barnsley Connects network of offices.

In a report to the council’s ruling cabinet, officer Martin Farran said that the previous postholder had taken voluntary early retirement, and would not be replaced.

The work carried out by the previous assistant director will now be taken on by other staff, saving £53,000 in salary this year, and £80,000 a year in forthcoming years.

The savings made this year will be used on a one-off basis to support the assistant director for personalisation, whose responsibilities include IT, business support and resource management, in taking over the portfolio of the former post.

In 2011/12 the £80,000 saving will be used to create a new “library strategy” which would lead to further savings, while in later years, the cash will be used for front-line services.

It is expected that further posts within the council will now be examined.

Mr Farran’s report said: “Further reports are proposed to rationalise the adults and communities directorate.”