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Another chief gets chopped at WC

December 20, 2012 3:10 PM

Maggie Rae (Wiltshire Times)Wiltshire Council has confirmed that Adult Social Services boss Sue Redmond has taken 'voluntary redundancy' and has left the council. This follows the decision made by the WC Cabinet in November to restructure the senior management team, merging the responsibility for public health with the corporate director role that has statutory responsibility for adult social services and creating a new corporate director role with statutory responsibility for services delivering adult social and public health.

The Council has appointed Maggie Rae to that role.

Maggie takes responsibility for delivering adult social care, housing, communities and public health.

Picture - in - Maggie Ray (Wiltshire Times)

Lib Dem leader Jon Hubbard thinks this is not a good idea. He said when the move was announced:

"The cuts being imposed by the Conservative administration mean that the role currently undertaken by Maggie Rae will be merged with that of Sue Redmond, and presumably there will be a process where one of them is shown the door.

The administration claim this will save the council £100,000 a year, (but) these cuts are being imposed by the Conservative administration before Public Health has been fully transferred to Wiltshire Council. Rather than demonstrating a commitment to vulnerable people and protecting our communities the Conservatives are demonstrating their willingness to asset-strip important frontline services to pay for flashy new buildings.

This cut will be imposing even more pressures on an already overworked executive team. There are real and genuine risks to overloading your senior management team - things will be missed and mistakes will be made. For instance, there is clear government guidance that the Director of Children's Services should not have any other duties but simply focus on undertaking that task. At Wiltshire Council we have a DCS who also manages other major areas of the council including the entire finance team. In financial terms alone, the disastrous OfSted inspection (which cited poor leadership and management as a significant issue) is costing £500,000 this year alone to deal with. Goodness knows the cost of the reputational damage it has caused.

Specialist roles need specialist staff to undertake them. Something like public health is too important to be run by someone without the necessary experience and training.

Finally, a very simple comparison: the administration claim that cutting this post will save £100,000 a year and that it is essential that we find these savings. Yet they have just spend £1,400,000 on new furniture alone for their plush new offices in County Hall, and are throwing away the old furniture - even if it is still serviceable. That to me is wasteful and irresponsible." Sue Redmond

Picture - out - Sue Redmond