“Bonfire of red tape” pledge by council leader

Thurrock Council Leader Cllr John Kent has welcomed plans to change the format of Thurrock Council’s senior management.

Speaking at Wednesday (8 June) evening’s meeting of the council’s cabinet, Cllr Kent said: “A year ago when I became Leader, the senior management could be described as being awash with interims and consultants.

“In that year we have managed to get everyone on either a full-time or time-limited contract; a full-time chief executive, a full-time Director of Finance and a director of Transformation on a contract that expires in around 18 months.

“Having got Thurrock Council’s bureaucracy on a secure footing, I agreed with our chief executive that now is the time to start streamlining — however I did have one stipulation.

“The last time there was a restructure at this level, in 2007, it cost Council Tax payers around £600,000 plus £400,000 in one-off costs. Not only do I want this to not cost us an extra penny, I want it to make big savings.

“More than that, the last restructure proposal was discussed behind closed doors. We want this to be fully open.”

He said: “This is the first phase of the restructure that should become less hierarchical — less like a pyramid — with many of those dealing with the day-to-day concerns of local people having a place at the top table.

“In many areas — housing, environment, planning for example — that level of management red tape will be stripped away. These are areas of great importance for Thurrock: 10,000 tenants and their families are probably not getting the service we think they should, for example.”

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