Brandon Lewis wants Great Yarmouth to share managers

A Labour-run council in Norfolk, facing a 19% cut in its £25m budget, is being urged to share management with other local authorities.

For two years, Great Yarmouth Borough Council had been shielded from cuts by government transition funding of £7m.

Now the town's MP and local government minister Brandon Lewis wants to see shared management to save £4m a year.

Council leader Trevor Wainwright said cuts were under way with seven senior management posts reduced to four.

Mr Lewis said the government had found more transition money to give the council another two years to implement efficiencies and to make cuts.

"Even small councils across England have made savings of up to £2m a year," Mr Brandon said.

"Great Yarmouth has got to make efficiencies while delivering good services and one way is through shared management."

Council chief retiring

Mr Wainwright said: "When we took over the administration in May there was a deal on the table with South Holland and Breckland councils that would have only saved £170,000.

"People in Great Yarmouth do not want to be managed by a council 100 miles away.

"We are nearer Holland (about 80 miles) on the Continent than South Holland in Lincolnshire.

"But we are making savings by cutting back senior posts from seven to four and at the next level down from 25 to 12."

Mr Brandon also questioned the cost of pay-offs received by senior staff taking voluntary redundancy or retiring from the council - especially the chief executive.

Mr Wainwright said: "It is well publicised that the current chief executive Richard Packham is to retire and his severance will be £130,000."

Mr Packham receives a salary of £110,000 per year.

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