Radical reform for Devon County Council
Devon County Council will undergo a radical reform to streamline its structure and reduce the number of top managers.
DEVON County Council is set to undergo a radical reform to streamline its structure and reduce the number of top managers.
The reforms will see a new structure put in place by September with the county’s existing directorates replaced with two Strategic Directors for People and Place.
The directors will be responsible for services to individuals and families and those affecting the community including highways and transport as well as environment and economy.
In addition to this role they will also manage individual heads of service who are accountable for ensuring Devon’s responsibilities to local people are met.
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The leader of the county council John Hart said: “The new structure will reduce our senior management by well over the 25 per cent, which I promised people I would achieve.
“It creates a flatter management structure that will enable us to be more responsive and to reduce costs.”
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The direct management of the council’s support services will be overseen by the Chief Executive, Phil Norrey.
This announcement comes after the council leader, John Hart, met with the Prime Minister to discuss the tough decisions facing local authorities in 2011.
Mr Hart added: “Devon County Council has already been highlighted by the Government for its initiatives in cutting councillors’ allowances, reducing red tape and protecting frontline services while cutting back office spending.
“We are looking to get better value for money and ensure the county council is run in a more businesslike manner and I believe the new structure will make a major contribution.
“I promised the people of Devon I would streamline the county council and make it more businesslike.
“We have already achieved major savings. This new structure will now see us well placed to respond effectively and efficiently to the major cultural shift in local government.”
Devon County Council is faced with a 27 per cent cut in its financial support from the Government.
Mr Hart said: “In the future local councils will be commissioning many more services from a range of providers to suit specific local needs rather than doing it all themselves.
”We will be more accountable to local people and local communities with our county councillors developing their community leadership role.”
Mr Hart has pledged to protect the most vulnerable children in Devon and vowed not to close any of the county’s libraries as well as retain a county farms estate to provide starter farms for people seeking a career in agriculture.
He said: “We are still working on the detail of our budget, which won’t be finalised until February. But I accept that these cuts are going to hurt.
“We are looking to get better value for money and ensure the county council is run in a more businesslike manner and I believe the new structure will make a major contribution.”