Proposed shared roles will look to improve lives of children, families and adults across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Cambridgeshire County Council leader Steve Count

Cambridgeshire County Council leader Steve Count - Credit: Archant

Proposals for Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Councils to share a number of corporate director roles will be discussed at the council’s staffing and appeals committee next Friday (June 16).

The proposals are aimed at strengthening both councils’ approach to tackling deprivation and inequalities.

The shared arrangements would cover senior management across education, community and safety, commissioning, children’s services and adult services at both authorities, and lead to savings of just over £1 million for Cambridgeshire County Council and £200k for Peterborough City Council.

The proposals follow the temporary appointment of Wendi Ogle-Welbourn last year to the joint role of executive director of children, family and adult services at Cambridgeshire County Council and corporate director of people and communities at Peterborough City Council.

If the new management structure is approved, the two councils will replace a total of 10 existing senior roles with five service directors working across both authorities for adult services, education, community and safety, children’s services and commissioning.

Each authority will then have their own assistant director to manage the day-to-day running of the services.

The new management team would be led by Mrs Ogle-Welbourn who, if the proposal is approved, would be confirmed as overall executive director.

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Cambridgeshire County Council leader Steve Count said: “We already successfully share two of the most senior roles across our two councils – Gillian Beasley and Liz Robin, an innovation which has given our two authorities great opportunities to work together on some of the key issues facing people we represent.

“By proposing this new management structure we hope to realise more long-term benefits around better buying power, efficiencies in costs and working with our partners in health, criminal justice and other parts of local and national government.

“But in particular this proposal allows us to capitalise on opportunities presented by Devolution, as Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have talked about a second Devolution deal with a focus on tackling areas of multiple deprivation and integrating health and social care. With a joint structure we can speak with one voice and maximise our effectiveness.

“But at the same time, this in no way diminishes either councils’ sovereignty as both sets of councillors will continue to make the best local decisions for their own residents through the usual governance processes.”

Consultation has taken place with staff and unions in both councils with results being presented to both committees on June 16. If agreed across both councils the new management structure could be implemented from July 2017.