Council reveal plan to save £2.4 million by cutting executive jobs the day before revealing Nick Hodgson's payout was £219,000

The day before they finally reveal the severance package of ex-chief executive Nick Hodgson, Derbyshire County Council have released a press statement saying they have "agreed to remove a further 27 full time equivalent senior management posts, saving £2.24 million over the next three years". Mr Hodgson left the council almost immediately after Labour won control in last year's DCC election, but the council have refused to reveal details of his severance package, despite being ordered to do so by the Information Commissioner. The council will release the figures at 5pm on June 13th, before their appeal against the commissioner's decision can be made. According to the Derby Telegraph DCC paid Mr Hodgson £219,000 to get rid of him.

We asked local councillors Ellie Wilcox and Damien Greenhalgh if they thought that DCC's refusal to comply with the Information Commissioner's order to reveal how much payout Nick Hodgson received when he left was a cynical plot to avoid bad news prior to the European election? None of them replied. The unedited text of DCC's press realise from today is below:

SENIOR MANAGERS’ REVIEW TO SAVE £2 MILLION

More senior managers’ jobs are to go at Derbyshire County Council as part of the organisation’s drive to cut £157 million from its budget by 2018.
At a meeting last week, Cabinet agreed to remove a further 27 full time equivalent senior management posts, saving £2.24 million over the next three years.
Council Leader Councillor Anne Western said: “No one likes cutting jobs but we need to make cuts due to reductions in Government grants, inflation and greater demands on areas of the budget for many services.
“We said we would start by getting our own house in order – scrutinising spending, reviewing senior management and selling off redundant land.
“The senior management structure will be smaller but by working more efficiently we’re confident we can continue to deliver services for local people and use the savings to help protect some front line services.”
She added: “We can’t duck the responsibility of making these Government cuts. Like every other council across the country we simply have no choice but we have strong leadership and excellent financial management to tackle the tasks ahead. We take our responsibility to Derbyshire very seriously and will continue to be ambitious and not despondent.”
The first phase of the review in November last year saved around £200,000 on management costs. Around £1.1 million will be saved in 2014/15 with a further £1 million over the following two years.
Staff whose posts are being removed in 2014/15 have been informed.
Other measures the council is taking as part of The Derbyshire Challenge to make budget cuts include:
*       Scrutinising all areas of spending to ensure the cash is used where it is needed most
*       Adopting strict vacancy controls
*       Disposing of redundant land and buildings.
*       Working closely with other public services, councils, community and voluntary groups by sharing services, integrating health and social care priorities and identifying the needs of every community to see how they can best be met.
*       Maximising income and grants by making sure Derbyshire benefits from Local Enterprise Partnership funds to help deliver more jobs and growth and using every opportunity to bid for extra cash to support specific projects.
In January, Cabinet announced a number of proposals for 2014/15 to help cut the county council’s budget.
The county council will be asking for people’s comments on its budget cut proposals over the next two years and is currently asking for local people’s views on cuts to mobile libraries and children’s centres.
For more information visit www.derbyshire.gov.uk/challenge

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