Changes proposed to council’s corporate management team

Published Monday, 1st July 2019

Black wall outside the Civic Centre with the words Civic Centre in gold

The council’s cabinet will discuss proposals to make changes to the council’s corporate management team next week (Cabinet, Monday 8 July, agenda item 4).

The main changes include re-grouping responsibilities to create new areas of focus, and in response to a number of issues, including:

  • The national and regional landscape in health and social care (children’s and adults) has increased in complexity and all authorities have seen an unprecedented rise in demand and pressures
  • The ongoing progress of the Better Queensway project and selection of Swan Housing as the development partner
  • An increased focus on dealing with day to day operational matters in the local community
  • An ambitious growth and regeneration programme and focus on housing, with a desire to deliver projects at pace
  • A greater focus on environmental matters

To deliver and deal with all of this, the council needs to ensure it has the right expertise in the right place and teams working together and in the best and most effective way.

It is proposed that the responsibilities of the two current deputy chief executive roles are widened into four new executive director roles. The new roles would be responsible for growth and housing (and take on the deputy chief executive role), neighbourhoods and environment, children and public health, and adults and communities.

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of the council, says: “Local people and businesses want us to look after the most vulnerable members of our local community, see a greater focus on their streets and public spaces so they can take pride in their neighbourhoods, and see us deliver more housing and projects that bring investment into their Borough.

“We face the challenges of County Lines and the exploitation of children and vulnerable adults. Children’s Social Care and Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) services have been improving but need to strengthen further in order to achieve the best outcomes for children and their families, health visitors have come back in-house, and we are developing our localities approach to ensure residents can live healthy lives in thriving communities. We also face huge challenges in relation to our environment and these need to be addressed with urgency and thoroughness.

“Better Queensway, the biggest project the council will be delivered in fifty years is starting, and we are increasingly leading the management of our peak busy periods. This all takes a great deal of responsibility and resource and it has become clear that we need to reorganise the corporate management team to deliver what our residents and councillors want.

"The changes represent an investment into all these areas. It is clear to me that it is necessary to make these changes if we are going to deliver the improvements in services that we all want and address the serious challenges that we face.

“This is the right thing to do, and the right time to do it.”

The changes will mean investment of around £370k per annum by 2021/22, but will also see savings by reducing the reliance on interim agency and consultancy staff in the region of £100k to £125k per annum.

In addition, it is estimated that the senior management time that will need to be dedicated annually to the delivery of the Better Queensway project alone would be in the region of £55k to £65k per annum. The proposed additional senior management capacity will therefore allow the appropriate senior management time allocation to these strategic projects. 

The Executive Director (Growth and Housing) would also be the Deputy Chief Executive and responsible for housing, regeneration, business growth, planning, transport, infrastructure and skills. 

Existing teams would be regrouped to create a new neighbourhoods and environment service responsible for community safety, street cleaning, pollution issues, recycling and waste services, highways, parking, parks and open spaces (including crematorium and cemeteries), regulatory services including private sector housing, town centre management and CCTV. The Executive Director (Neighbourhoods and Environment) will be responsible for these services.

It is also proposed to re-align existing teams under a new Executive Director (Children and Public Health) who would be responsible for children services, youth offending service, learning and education, early years, special educational needs and disability (SEND) and public health, and also be the designated the statutory Director of Children Services (DCS).

The Executive Director (Adults and Communities) would be the statutory Director of Adult Social Services and responsible for adult social care, integration and partnerships, homelessness and social inclusion, and cultural offer including leisure, libraries, museums, art galleries and music.

The Executive Director (Finance & Resources), Executive Director (Transformation) and Executive Director (Legal & Democratic Services) roles will remain unchanged except their titles will change from Strategic Director to Executive Director.

There are no changes proposed to any salary levels.

If approved by cabinet, the report will then be discussed by the policy and resources committee on Thursday 11 July and Full Council on Thursday 18 July.