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Calls for blitz on Brighton and Hove council managers
A blitz on bureaucracy has been called for after claims one in ten town hall workers are “managers”.
This comes as Brighton and Hove City Council is tasked with cutting £25million from its budget in 2013/14.
The local authority maintains its plans, which will be finalised in February, will continue to provide value for money to the taxpayer.
But opposition councillors claim the “top-heavy” local authority does not have management structure charts which private businesses use when keeping track of finances and staff numbers.
They add there are 500 town hall workers who are deemed “managers” out of a core staff of about 5,000.
With the addition of school staff, there are more than 8,000 city council employees.
Conservative councillor Tony Janio said: “We as councillors are being asked to make some very big decisions about what to cut.
“We’re just told which services we should take money away from but I believe we should be a bit more grown up about it and look a bit deeper.
“We cannot go through this whole thing where officers provide us headline figures without the managerial structure behind it.”
An ‘outdated structure’ Councillor Janio, who raised the issue in the council chamber, claims a search of the local authority’s website revealed there are about 500 members of the workforce who have “manager” in their job title.
Coun Janio added a further 297 had the term “supervisor” while there were 14 personal assistants.
He said: “I think it’s too much. I’m concerned that people in the council are being given the manager title so they can receive a pay rise without actually doing a manager’s job.
“It’s not the way to run a business, which is what the council is. It’s an outdated structure and we need to look again at cutting out some of the bureaucracy.”
But Alex Knutsen, of Unison trade union, said: “Coun Janio is comparing apples with pears and he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about.”
Council leader Jason Kitcat said: “We deliver 800 services for our city, so it’s vital that we employ managers to make sure those services meet the standards that our residents deserve.
“As with any other major organisation with a sizeable workforce, we have managers at all levels in services ranging from libraries and social services to waste collection and housing.
“We are constantly striving to improve value for money and so far this year we have achieved almost £3.4million worth of savings.
“In total our value for money programme will deliver £10 million in savings this year and we plan on over £8million in savings next year.”
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