A SMALLER management team to lead West Sussex County Council has been approved by councillors.
The authority’s governance committee met on Monday to consider reducing the overall senior management team from eight directors to four executive director posts and from 64 overall senior managers to around 20.
It was also agreed that the council will continue with the chief operating officer leadership model following the decision to make the chief executive position redundant in February.
The new structure will align the senior leadership structure to West Sussex County Council’s ‘core priorities’ of giving children the best start in life, supporting older residents to live independently for as long as possible and creating a strong and diverse economy. It will also provide a renewed focus on strong and vibrant communities where people are encouraged to help themselves and each other, a new commercial emphasis, and a continued focus on providing quality customer service.
“Over the last few months there has been much work going on around transforming services at County Hall - all part of the County Council’s on-going evolutionary process,” said leader of West Sussex County Council
“At the backbone of that evolution is the relentless focus we have on our three key priorities and of course ensuring that we, the County Council, are always there in an emergency, that we protect the frail and vulnerable and that we help people to help themselves.
“There been a considerable amount of consultation with staff about these changes - road shows, meetings and presentations to the county’s different political groups.
“We need to evolve so we can continue to provide quality services to our residents at a time when we have a reducing income but increasing demands for what we provide. Our current structure is simply not sustainable.
“I’m incredibly proud of our workforce. They’re hardworking, loyal and care about the communities of West Sussex that they serve. But there has never been a more challenging time for local government and it is inevitable that these proposed changes will have an impact on our staff and particularly on our managers.
“However, we provide more than 80 per cent of local public services in West Sussex and our frontline services are what matter to our communities. We need to adapt and evolve in order to protect them as much as we can. What matters to us is what works - that services are delivered by the right people, in the right way at the right cost and where we, as a county council, cost the tax payer less.”
The final approval for the new structure, and the appointments of key statutory officers, will be taken by West Sussex County Council’s full council meeting on July 25.