Proposals to share a number of corporate director roles with Cambridgeshire County Council will be discussed at the council’s employment committee this week (Friday 16 June).
The shared arrangements would cover senior management across education, community and safety, commissioning, children’s services and adult services at both authorities.
The proposals follow on from the temporary appointment of Wendi Ogle-Welbourn last year to the joint role of corporate director of people and communities at the city council and executive director of children, family and adult services at the county council.
The joint arrangement would also mirror the two councils’ earlier decisions to share the post of chief executive – Gillian Beasley, and that of director of public health – Dr Liz Robin.
If the new management structure is approved, five joint service directors would be appointed to work across both authorities. The five positions would be for adult services; education; community and safety; children’s services and commissioning.
Each authority would then have their own assistant director in these areas to manage the day-to-day running of the services.
This new management team would be led by Mrs Ogle-Welbourn as the overall executive director.
Peterborough City Council leader councillor John Holdich said: “Both councils are responsible for providing these services to their residents and both of us have experienced the increase in demand in recent years. Our councils already work well together on key issues and by introducing this new management structure we hope it would have a number of long-term benefits.
“These include having greater purchasing power when commissioning services, spending less on senior management positions and being better prepared for opportunities provided by devolution such as integrating health and social care in the future.
“Local government is in an era of ever-decreasing government funding and many councils up and down the country are sharing services as we all consider what our financial resources are likely to be in the future. This proposal maintains both councils’ sovereignty as both sets of councillors will continue to make the best decisions for their own residents through the usual governance processes.”
Since 2013 the city council has reduced senior management positions, as well as increasing sharing arrangements with other organisations, resulting in savings of close to £2million annually.
Within Peterborough, the proposals are expected to generate £200,000 of additional annual savings to senior management costs.
Consultation has now concluded and if agreed across both councils the new management structure could be implemented from July 2017.