Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Civic Centre's Senior Managers Facing a Cull

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Civic Centre's Senior Managers Facing a Cull

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan O'Donoghue Local Government Reporter @DanChronicle

COUNCIL chiefs are in the firing line after town hall bosses revealed plans to save PS500,000.

Senior managers at Newcastle City Council face redundancy, reduced hours or the scrapping of their positions when they leave in a bid to save cash.

The council's constitutional committee approved changes on Monday which will see the authority lose a PS111,000-a-year director along with 11 other senior bosses.

The decision follows a failed attempt to make savings by slashing the wages of more than 1,800 lowerlevel staff.

Union bosses warned they would "refuse to negotiate on any attack on staff terms and conditions" and forced the council to concede it would instead make savings by axing management posts and improving the performance of the authority's pension fund.

Pat Ritchie, Newcastle City Council chief executive, said: "The council is a much smaller and more agile organisation than it was in the past and we will continue to ensure that our management arrangements keep pace with change and are fit for purpose.

"These changes will deliver significant savings in the next financial year, helping us to maintain frontline services for local people."

One senior manager to take voluntary redundancy is the director of communities, Mick Murphy, who has been with the authority for 24 years.

Mr Murphy was widely praised in 2012 for his actions during the flooding of Spencer Court in Newburn, when 50 homes had to be evacuated after a landslide washed away the foundations of a block of flats - leaving it on the point of collapse.

Ms Ritchie said: "Mick is a highly respected colleague who has made an outstanding contribution to steering the business through significant change over recent years and we will be sad to see him go. …

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