Unitary bid director will get £90,000pa

SHAUN LOWTHORPE Norwich's home rule bid is to be overseen by a new £90,000 a year director, it emerged yesterday. City Hall is advertising for a new 'director of transformation' with the job of shaping and delivering a new unitary council, which will take control of public services like schools and social services in the Norwich from the county council.

SHAUN LOWTHORPE

Norwich's home rule bid is to be overseen by a new £90,000 a year director, it emerged yesterday.

City Hall is advertising for a new 'director of transformation' with the job of shaping and delivering a new unitary council, which will take control of public services like schools and social services in the Norwich from the county council.

Ministers are minded to grant Norwich home rule subject to the findings of a boundary review which could overhaul council services throughout Norfolk.

The review will be triggered once the government has passed its local government and public involvement in health bill, expected to reach the statute books in the autumn.

Last night council chief executive Laura McGillivray denied the council was jumping the gun and said the appointment reflected the determination of government to press ahead with one sized fits all unitaries.

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“The one thing we are clear about is that there is going to be a greater Norwich unitary,” she said. “We just think it's prudent and building on the work we have already done. It will also help us cut down our consultancy costs.”

Applications for the post, which was advertised in yesterday's EDP, should be submitted within a week by August 31.

Usually councillors would formally approve the creation of a new director's post, but members previously gave the chief executive carte blanche to act after granting her discretion to pursue the unitary bid.

The post will pay a salary up to £90,162 falling in between other directors' pay scales and the £120,000 chief executive's wages.

“It's a good salary for a director,” she added. “This is pitched at an appropriate level compared to the chief executive and directors' salaries.

“They will be putting together a small team that will start to work more closely with the other districts looking at the pattern of services and starting to look at the options we may have for service transformation and delivery.

“It would be foolish to just stop. We are already starting to have discussions with stakeholders about how we can start to work together. It's helping us plan for the future and the transformation of the organisation into a unitary.”

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