Thomas Bridge 18 September 2014

Borough ready to scrap chief executive role

A local authority is poised to scrap its chief executive post after deciding that sharing the role with another council would not be 'sensible'.

A full council meeting at Pendle BC will next week decide whether to abolish the post as part of efforts to find £4m savings in the next two years.

The town hall investigated sharing a chief executive with another council yet concluded the move 'did not result in any major saving' and 'was not a sensible idea for Pendle'.

Current chief executive Stephen Barnes has worked at the council from its beginning 40 years ago and would be made redundant under the plan.

Council leader, Cllr Joe Cooney, said: 'We've looked at the post of chief executive for several years now and we feel it's time to re-think the structure of the council at the top of the organisation.

'The policy of the council now is to endeavour to maintain, as far as possible, frontline services and streamline and reduce management and administrative costs.

'If the council does decide to delete this post, we're confident that he's leaving a very experienced senior team in place. It's a team which has worked in Pendle very effectively for many years.'

Cllr Tony Greaves, deputy leader of the council, added: 'These are very hard times for councils like Pendle and we have to make difficult decisions as a result.

'We looked at the option of sharing a chief executive with another council, but decided that this was not a sensible idea for Pendle. Indeed the option did not result in any major saving. We have to accept that smaller district councils will no longer need a high level chief executive role as in the past.'

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