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Saturday 28 May 2016

Council creates a more simple and efficient council


Cheshire East Council has reorganised its functions into three different areas in order to save money and make things simpler for its residents.

From next month, services will fall into three new directorates – People, Place and Corporate Services.

By 2020, the authority aims to be in a position to be completely self-funded and already £5m of management savings have been made.

Cheshire East will continue to review management costs in order to deliver real value for money for Cheshire East residents.

Council Chief Executive Mike Suarez said: “The reality is that the public will not see a change in service delivery at all. The changes will just mean that it will be clearer about who is accountable and functions will be better integrated, so that further savings can be achieved. 

“These changes underpin our continued commitment to put ‘residents first’ and provide even better value for money for local taxpayers.

“The reforms will enable ‘more joined up’ delivery of services to the most vulnerable in our Borough, with our residents at the centre of all we do.”

While leading an ambitious programme of economic growth and regeneration across the Borough, the Council has been at the forefront of public sector innovation and transformation with the creation of arms-length, wholly Council-owned companies, public sector collaboration and reform to meet the ‘localism’ agenda.

The changes are:

● The People’s Directorate will include children and families, adult social care, communities and public health. It will be headed up by the Executive Director of People, who is also the Deputy Chief Executive;

● The Place Directorate will include economic growth and prosperity, which includes planning, regeneration, highways, strategic transport and countryside. It will be headed up by the Executive Director – Place;

● The Corporate Services Directorate will include customer-focused services, such as IT, customer services, libraries and legal. It is headed by the Chief Operating Officer.

Council Leader Councillor Rachel Bailey said: “I am truly passionate about delivering excellent services for our residents that achieve best value – and this is why we are have taken on the task of realigning our services in this way.

“This is about delivering quality services, with real value for money, that enable and support our residents to fulfil their potential, thrive and live well for longer. We wish to create the best working environment to enable our staff to meet this challenge.”

The Council’s workforce has reduced from 3,880 in 2012/13 to 2,770 (full-time equivalents) in the current financial year – an overall reduction of 27.7 per cent.

Cheshire East is the third-largest unitary authority in the North West and the 13th largest in the country but it has one of the smallest numbers and cost of top-tier management.

Mike Suarez added: “The Council re-organisation is more evolution than revolution because it builds on previous significant organisational change.

“Championed by a strong executive leadership team, we are committed to deliver further efficiencies and savings.

“As an organisation committed to being one of the top councils in the country we are focusing relentlessly on putting our residents first, delivering value for money and developing and retaining high-quality and motivated staff.

“Organisational success is dependent on having a well-trained, customer-focused work force delivering value for money for our communities and advocates of our organisational values – namely putting residents FIRST through Flexibility, Innovation, and by taking Responsibility and serving our communities through great Teamwork and partnership.”

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