Essex County Council Cuts 275 Managerial Posts

(BBC) – ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL has announced it is cutting up to 275 managerial posts.

The cuts will be met through retirement, normal staff turn-over, voluntary redundancy and not filling existing vacancies, the council said.

The council said reducing the layers of management would help bring “quicker and sharper decision-making and… lead to enhanced local services”.

It said frontline services would not be affected and it was working with public sector unions.

The proposed cuts represent 2.5% of the organisation’s core workforce of 10,900 employees or 16.5% of the council’s 1,648 line managers.

Essex County Council Limits Tax Rise To 1.9%

THE 1.9% FIGURE equates to an additional 38 pence per week for an average Band D household. It is also one of the lowest figures of any county council in the country.‪

Lord Hanningfield, Leader of Essex County Council‪ said: “Today’s announcement once again delivers the lowest ever increase in council tax and meets the pledge we made to the people of Essex last year to keep any rise below inflation.” ‪

Cllr Sarah Candy, Cabinet Member for Finance said:‪ “Despite the perilous state of the public finances and ever increasing demands we are determined to deliver value for money for the people of Essex.‪

“We have accelerated our transformation programme, streamlining our back office so that we can put savings back into frontline services.

“All these efforts have enabled us to deliver savings, efficiencies, and increased income in the last year of around £85 million – and have allowed us to put forward another below inflation level of council tax.”‪‪

The council tax proposal and budget will be presented for ratification at full council on 9th February.‪ Final council tax bills will include elements from district councils, police and fire authorities and, in areas like Canvey, from town or parish councils.‪

The Essex County Council share of the 2009-10 band D council tax was £1,066.50. A 1.9% increase means a 2010-11 band D council tax of £1,086.75.‪‪

IBM Signs Deal With Essex County Council

(Telegraph) – ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL has signed a £5.4 billion deal with IBM. The council expect it will save 20 per cent of the authority’s £1.2 billion budget in the next three years.

Recently, unions and Labour ministers attacked Tory-run Barnet Council for adopting the so-called “EasyCouncil” model of supplying public services. Central to the move is more efficient outsourcing that costs the council less.

The system in Essex will see IBM analyse the services the council provides. A decision will then be taken on whether the services – including schools management, roads, libraries and other social services – can be out-sourced or kept in-house.

Eric Pickles, a former local councillor and now an Essex MP and Conservative Party Chairman, said: “I certainly think this is the future and we will be watching developments in Essex very closely.”

IBM’s success in Canada in similar projects helped Essex County Council make its decision. Senior Conservatives have repeatedly pointed to Canada as an example of how a large national deficit can be paid down with strict public spending cuts and efficiency savings.