Job cuts at Havant and East Hampshire councils to save £1m

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REDUNDANCIES are likely as two councils are set to share managers in a cost-cutting drive that will save £1m a year.

A total of 32 managers’ posts are set to go across Havant and East Hampshire councils.

Fifteen new posts, whose occupants will oversee services at both councils, will be created.

Current managers will have to enter a selection process next month to apply for the new roles. Those who are unsuccessful could be made redundant.

It comes after a major drive to share management at the neighbouring authorities.

Sandy Hopkins has been chief executive of both councils since 2009.

Last year the council decided to share its top managers and the next overhaul, which will be in place by October, is for middle management.

Tom Horwood, executive director, said: ‘A further full-year saving of around £1m split across the two councils is to be achieved from the next phase of joint management.

‘This new way of working will provide both councils with a far more streamlined and efficient management team.’

Havant council has to find around £2.6m in savings over the next three years.

Tony Briggs, Tory leader, said: ‘It’s all part of the whole business plan to move forward with shared management and where possible joint delivery of services with a view to reducing the overall cost of providing the services to our customers. This will enable us to continue, if we are successful, in keeping local tax at a very low level.

‘At the end of the day it’s always extremely difficult and sad when people lose a job, but the bottom line is that taxpayers cannot continue to subsidise local authority services.’

Ann Buckley, Lib Dem leader, said: ‘It is the time to scrutinise the service looking at the impact on staff and services provided, including travel between the offices and alternatives such as tele-conferencing.’

Terry Hart, Labour leader, said: ‘The only way small councils like Havant are going to survive is by working together.’