All change at the top as council looks to save money

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THERE has been a shake-up in the top positions at a county council.

At yesterday’s full council meeting West Sussex county councillors endorsed the recommendations of the authority’s appointments committee that Gill Steward, formerly interim transformation director, is appointed acting chief operating officer with immediate effect for up to 18 months.

Ms Steward retains her transformation responsibilities on a salary of £160,000. Her predecessor received a salary of £178,000 plus bonus.

She has more than 17 years’ experience of corporate management, most recently as a corporate director for three unitary councils. And she has held leadership roles – including the first civilian director of corporate development for Greater Manchester Police.

Other appointments confirmed were Tony Kershaw as director of law, strategy and assurance with responsibility as the council’s monitoring officer and Peter Lewis as executive director for corporate resources and services.

Diane Ashby will now become one of four new executive directors under a new management structure that was agreed earlier this month.

The restructure involves reducing the senior management team from eight directors to four new executive directors.

The council said it is expected the wider management restructure will reduce the council’s management bill by 15 to 30 per cent.