Merger likely

PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 January 2013


TWO vital departments within North Somerset Council are set to merge as part of a major cost-cutting exercise across the local authority.

The council has to save more than £80million over the next seven years and all but the most vital services could be axed or severely streamlined as a result of the major, financial challenge.

Tomorrow (Thurs) part of the council is set to make a decision on whether the authority’s adult social services and children and young people’s services directorates could merge.

At a meeting of the children and young people’s service policy and scrutiny panel, members will discuss whether a new, single directorate could be launched by June.

The Institute Of Public Care, which provided an independent review into the plans for the district, says the council can make a safe transition to the new system.

If the proposals are approved there will be one director for the new department and there is set to be a reduction in staffing.

The report to be presented tomorrow will also need to be approved by other scrutiny panels.

It says: “Senior officers affected by the proposals have been directly involved in the development of this report and are supportive of the proposals.

“Other employees potentially affected will be fully consulted as the arrangements are developed in more detail, as will the trade unions.

“The creation of a single directorate will not have an adverse impact on diverse or more vulnerable groups within the community.

“A further reduction in senior management costs will make a significant contribution towards addressing the council’s financial challenges.”

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