Director doubles up for new North East Lincolnshire social services role
CHILDREN'S services and adult social services in North East Lincolnshire will continue to be overseen by just one director.
In September last year, Jack Blackmore took over the responsibility for both directorates when he was appointed as the council's interim director of strategic director people and communities.
The new £120,000 post combined the roles of director of children's services and director of adult social services – which had previously been carried out by separate individuals.
As reported, executive director of children and family services Barbara Hughes and executive director of community services Andrew Milner, whose role included the adult social care brief, left the authority shortly before Mr Blackmore's arrival, as part of the council's efforts to streamline its senior management team. Both were on salaries in the region of £120,000.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Government guidance states that while a local authority is legally entitled to combine the two positions, it is not recommended without "strong justification."
However, following a 12-month review of the arrangement, NELC has decided to continue with the present set-up.
The move was approved by Cabinet this week.
Council chief executive Tony Hunter told councillors that about a third of local authorities in the country had combined the two roles, partly for financial reasons, but also to ensure that certain issues were not missed in the "artificial separation" between the services.
Mr Hunter said: "I endorse the way forward proposed in this report. I think the arrangements in place are right for North East Lincolnshire, but I also think it's right that we review them periodically."
A report prepared for councillors said that the arrangement could be justified because of the relatively small size of the authority, the fact that most of the functions and the budget for adult social care was delegated to the Care Trust Plus, and because of the council's outsourcing arrangement for school improvement with Serco.
It added that the benefits of a combined director role included more clout and better co-ordinated commissioning and negotiation with the NHS and partners and an "overarching approach" to health inequalities and wellbeing.
The report also highlighted the fact that three out of the four Humber authorities now had a so-called "twin hatter" arrangement – with the fourth, Hull City Council, also set to follow suit.
It concluded that splitting up the two roles would lead to added costs at chief officer level and that this would be "inappropriate and wasteful" given that the new structure had only been in place for a year and appeared to be working well.