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Top jobs go at Basildon Council
TOP jobs at Basildon Council have been axed as part of major cost-cutting plans.
The two executive director roles held by Chris White and Ian Woolford were merged with other positions this month and will save the council £100,000.
Four other staff took early retirement this month, although the Tory-run council will not disclose what positions have been lost.
In July, the Echo revealed job losses were on their way as the council sought to save £6.2million by 2015/16.
The news has shocked the opposition Labour group who fear lower staff levels could also see their jobs under threat.
Labour group leader Nigel Smith said: “It means an ever-reducing work force providing reduced services.
“During the next few months more jobs will be lost, making it about 100 since 2011. Even senior officers are not safe with a senior director losing his post at short notice.”
He added: “By the time Labour takes control in a couple of years, the council will be significantly smaller than it has been. “Non-statutory services are under threat. These include recreation, leisure and sports provision, including swimming pools and country parks. “Community centres and provision for the elderly and youth activities could be severely cut or disappear altogether and the services that remain could end up being delivered by private operators.”
Mr White and Mr Woolford reported directly to council chief executive Bala Mahendran , who will begin a three-day week next year, also as part of the cost-cutting measures.
Mr White spent two-and-a-half years at the council before going. Mr Woolford has taken up a new role as a commissioning director at a lower pay grade.
It takes the number of senior posts at the council down from 12 to 10.
Mr Mahendran and Mick Nice, who oversees the financial savings programme on a part-time basis, are the only remaining senior executive officers.
Council leader Tony Ball said: “This is part of our ongoing transformation agenda which was reported to cabinet in July. “This particular change will save at least £100,000 per year from the budget. The new director positions created will have a more hands-on approach and cover some of the heads of service positions.”
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