04 May 2011

Appointments to three new director posts have been announced today (TUES) by Northamptonshire County Council as part of a new structure designed to ensure the organisation is positioned to respond to financial and demographic challenges facing the county.

The new structure, part of the new “target operating model”, sees a reduction in the overall number of directorates at the council as well as a smaller senior management tier and is expected to result in savings of £500,000.

The following appointments have been made to the new directorate structure:

  • Tony Ciaburro, Director of Environment, Development and Transport
  • Charlie MacNally, Director of Adults and Children’s Services
  • Alex Hopkins, Director of Customers, Communities and Learning.

In addition, the council is currently recruiting to 11 senior management posts created to support the new directorate structure. This will reduce the second tier of management by 35 per cent, from 17 posts to 11. (excluding the fire and rescue service). These positions will be filled by 1st June when the new structure becomes operational. The target operating model review will then focus on the restructure of the tiers below this.

Leader of the council Cllr Jim Harker said: “Our new structure will deliver savings but the benefits extend beyond that. It will enable us to realign our services so that we are better placed to respond to the financial and demographic pressures we face.

“Our vision is to become a commissioning council that has more flexibility about how our customers receive services, whether delivered by ourselves, our partners, the voluntary sector or the community.

“The new structure sees the integration of adult and children’s social care services to make sure we are working effectively, as an organisation and with our partners, in providing care for individuals who need our help.

“It will also ensure a greater emphasis on preventative and early intervention services so that we can target money and resources at people and families in most need and where we can make the most difference.

“And finally, it will increase our focus on helping Northamptonshire become a prosperous county and a great place to live and work.”

The current director of Children and Young People’s Services, Paul Burnett, chose not to apply for a role in the new structure and will take voluntary redundancy from the organisation in June.

Chief Executive Paul Blantern said: “The appointments to the new director posts represent the first stage of what is essentially a remoulding of Northamptonshire County Council. The new structure is an important step in adapting to our changing role and I have every confidence that I have assembled a strong team to lead with me through this challenging time.

“Paul Burnett has made a very significant contribution to securing improvements in outcomes for children and families in Northamptonshire. Whilst I am very sorry to see him go, I understand Paul’s wish to pursue other opportunities and we all wish him every success.

“Paul’s legacy includes the creation of an area-based model of providing services to children and families resulting in locally-based multi-disciplinary teams incorporating social care, schools and the health service. He also will be remembered as the architect of the county’s school improvement strategy, dedicated to raising learning achievement and school improvement with the deployment of targeted support to schools.”

Over the last three years, the GCSE pass rate (students gaining 5 or more at grades A to C, including English and Maths) has improved at twice the national rate while the number of schools in Ofsted categories (special measures or notice to improve) has fallen from 32 to 12.

Additional information:

The anticipated saving of £500,000 is in addition to the £3million saved by Northamptonshire County Council as a result of its shared services arrangement with Cambridgeshire County Council and the £1.7 million savings over the past two years resulting from the effective leadership review which saw the council reduce the size of the senior management team and reduce the salary bands of all senior management roles.