TWO new executive directors have been appointed by Stratford District Council as part of a senior management shake-up.
The Conservative-led authority revealed it would need to cut £1million from its budget every year for the next five years in January.
It earmarked £100,000-a-year in savings through a restructure of its senior management team, which is currently made up of seven posts.
Under the new structure, the post of chief executive and assistant chief executive will be replaced by two executive directors, who will have overall responsibility for four heads of service.
Dave Webb – currently the council’s head of Enterprise, Housing and Revenue – will take one of the posts and will also be the Head of Paid Service.
Assistant chief executive, David Buckland, secured the second executive director role and will remain the council’s section 151 statutory officer.
The appointments were rubber-stamped by members of the authority’s Full Council and it was also decided David Dalby would act as the democratic services manager and returning officer for the next six months.
The new senior management structure was agreed by councillors last month when it was revealed current chief executive Paul Lankester would be taking voluntary redundancy as a result the management reshuffle.
But his decision was questioned by Labour councillor Jason Fojtik, who accused council leader, Chris Saint, of forcing Mr Lankester out by “making him an offer he couldn’t refuse” in a bid to secure more power and control.
There will be an annual saving of £100,000-a-year through the senior management restructure but the cost of Mr Lankester’s departure and resulting redundancy package is expected to come to somewhere in the region of £390,000.
Speaking about the changes, Coun Saint, said: “I’m confident the new appointments will make a significant contribution to the district council and continue to take on new challenges.
“Dave Webb has been at the council for 26 years and David Buckland has more than 25 years local government experience in a number of authorities, of which ten years have been with the district council.
“I am confident they will be able to lead in what will be very interesting new posts.”
Mr Lankester will leave on March 31 after almost 15 years at the helm of the authority with the new management structure effective from April 1.