Plans to fundamentally change the way Brighton and Hove City Council is run have been approved.
Chief executive John Barradell’s new structure is designed to be more flexible, both to identify and respond to local needs more quickly and efficiently – and to the need for deep cuts in local government spending.
The council says it will also enable better use of resources across the city through closer relationships with agencies such as Sussex Police, the local NHS and partners in the community and voluntary sector.
However, part of the plan involves scrapping its existing six directors and replacing them with four super-directors on salaries of £130,000.
Green Party Convenor Cllr Bill Randall said: “At a time when many people in the city are looking forward to pay freezes at best and unemployment at worst, we think this proposal is wrong and out of step with the difficult times we live in,” said
“We urge all councillors to resist these proposed salaries. We believe a salary of £100,000 is enough to attract or retain people of talent to work in the city.”
Under the current system, the most senior officers manage one of six ‘directorates’ and are able to draw only on the resources within that department to meet the needs of residents.
Under the new model, the most senior officers will be responsible for wider strategic targets, like making people feel safe and secure. They will be able to call on 11 ‘delivery units’ – services like housing, adult services, tourism and others – to meet these targets.
This system will require an internal restructure including the following changes in senior management positions:
• Four new ‘strategic director’ posts to replace the existing six directors;
• A new ‘commissioning group’ to look at what resources are available from within the council and across the city, and pull together these resources to provide the best services for our residents;
• New delivery units in 11 key areas, which will have the freedom to operate in the most innovative and resourceful way and focus on delivering excellent service.
Council leader Mary Mears said: “There are two really great things about our new system. One is that we’re putting the needs of our residents right at the very heart of what we are doing – assessing what local people need and ensuring resources can be made available to meet that need.
“The other is that it will put the best available services from the council’s public, private and third sector partners alongside its own resources – cutting down on duplication and making us more efficient.”