Manchester

Rochdale Council chief's early retirement bid

Rochdale chief executive Roger Ellis
Image caption Mr Ellis is expected to remain in his post until 2012

The chief executive of Rochdale Borough Council is set to leave his post as part of budget savings efforts.

Roger Ellis has applied for voluntary early retirement from the authority, which is meeting on Wednesday night to agree savings proposals.

He is expected to be among about 750 redundancies as the council attempts to save £64m from its 2011-12 budget.

The Labour-run council may not fill the post and instead share a chief with a neighbouring authority.

Colin Lambert, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: "As part of the budget setting process, letters have been sent to all staff asking if they want to consider taking voluntary early retirement.

"Our chief executive replied, and asked at a meeting of the four group leaders, if he could be considered for voluntary early retirement in April 2012.

"In discussions he made it clear that job reductions in the council should be at all levels and he was putting himself forward as part of the overall senior management reduction.

"His retirement would take place on exactly the same basis as other staff leaving at this difficult time."

'Preserve jobs'

Mr Ellis earns about £149,000 a year and the authority is discussing whether to share this cost with another authority.

Keith Hutson, of the Unite union, welcomed the move and said he hoped it would help reduce the number of other jobs lost.

"If it ultimately saves jobs and it can be done without risking the quality of jobs and the services they provide, then I'm all for that," he said.

"There's two priorities - maintaining the quality of services for the people of Rochdale and preserving as many jobs as we possibly can for the workers of Rochdale."

A council meeting to approve the latest round of savings measures takes place on Wednesday night.

Councillors will approve the application at the meeting.

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