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Partnership between Breckland, Great Yarmouth and South Holland councils set to move closer

PUBLISHED: 06:30 05 March 2012

Terry Huggins, the current chief executive of Breckland and South Holland councils

Terry Huggins, the current chief executive of Breckland and South Holland councils

A partnership between three councils whose headquarters are about 100 miles apart is likely to be agreed this week.

Breckland Council has had shared a chief executive with South Holland District Council - which is based in Spalding - since August 2010 and they have had joint senior managers since last April.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council now wants to create a three-way partnership.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday respectively, South Holland, Yarmouth and Breckland will hold special full council meetings to approve the principle of the partnership and have consultation with unions and staff.

Terry Huggins - currently chief executive of Breckland and South Holland - is likely to head all three authorities during the implementation period and a long-term appointment would then have to be made.

There have been concerns about the distance between the three authorities - and the prospect of journey which could have to be made between Yarmouth and Spalding along the A47 and A17.

But in a report to this week’s meetings, Mr Huggins said: “Working with a shared management team required officers and members to be flexible in developing new ways of working. Use of video conferencing and other communications methods will be used to avoid unnecessary travelling.”

The report reveals pay bands for the new structure with the chief executive earning between £100,879 and £124,004, the deputy chief executive and directors on £82,064-£100,879, assistant directors on £54,311-£66,763 and heads of service earning between £46,115 and £54,311.

No details have been revealed about the specific number of posts which would be lost but in the report, total redundancy costs are estimated at £240,000 (plus £76,000 if Mr Huggins is made redundant). There are projected savings of about £333,000 per year in staff costs.

The councils would remain independent and staff below senior management would remain with one authority.

Gary Porter, Leader of South Holland District Council, said: “This is a ground-breaking project which will see financial savings, the sharing of skills and the creation of greater resilience across three authorities.”

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