Hastings council could scrap chief exec in cull

THE TOP job at Hastings Borough Council (HBC) looks set to be axed in attempt to cut costs.

On Tuesday (October 11) the authority announced plans for a major cost-saving reorganisation which includes ditching the role of the chief executive.

The changes have been suggested by a staff commission set up by the council and could see as much as £400,000 in savings.

The proposals also mean four other senior managers could see their jobs scrapped.

Last December the Observer revealed how the local authority had fallen foul of the joint highest drop in funding of any council in England.

Between now and 2013/14 HBC will have to reduce its spending to allow for a 48 per cent drop in Government funding.

Since last December 40 jobs have been lost, according to council leader Jeremy Birch.

It has also had to curtail its financial contributions to large-scale events like Jack-in-the-Green, Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival and Coastal Currents, which saw a £10,000 (around 10 per cent) drop this year.

Cllr Birch said: “The council is consulting on a major re-organisation of its senior management structure. When we set our budget for this year we said we were going to look at our management costs and structure. We have to. By 2013 we will have seen a 47.4 per cent cut in Government funding for the council compared to 2010.

“We lost 40 council posts this year and our highways responsibilities have been taken back by the county council.

“We need to bring the size of our senior management team into line with the reduced size of our total staffing.”

A final decision on the proposals is due to be taken next month.