Highland Council management restructure to save £310,000

As intimated in Highland Council’s budget plan, a new senior management structure is to be implemented following approval by Council 14th March. It reconfigures the senior management team into two layers, rather than three and brings Highland Council into line with other benchmarked authorities.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Raymond Bremner said: “Members have agreed the new senior management structure which will not only deliver required budget savings but also make Highland Council’s management structure more equivalent to other local authorities. The new structure will help the council to deliver the priorities in its Programme, Budget Strategy and Delivery Plan while achieving better outcomes for local communities.”
The new senior structure will initially deliver savings of £310,000, as part of the budget savings agreed by Council in the budget setting in February. It is anticipated that savings will eventually equate to around 20% of senior management team costs.
The new structure will consist of three service clusters, each managed by a new post of Assistant Chief Executive (ACE) who will report directly to the Chief Executive, Derek Brown. 
The new service clusters will be: 

  • People - combining Health & Social Care and Education & Learning
  • Place - combining Community & Place, Housing & Property and Infrastructure, Environment & Economy
  • Corporate - combining the existing Depute Chief Executive Service, Performance & Governance, and Resources & Finance 

Combining the current 8 Services into 3 service clusters will: 

  • support collaborative working across the organisation;
  • help to strengthen strategy and links to operational delivery;
  • align with the Highland Outcome Improvement Plan (HOIP); and
  • support delivery of the Our Future Highland Programme. 

Recruitment to the three Assistant Chief Executive posts has commenced and it is expected that appointments will be made by the end of April, with successful candidates taking up post from the start of May.  
The Depute Chief Executive post and 7 Executive Chief Officer (ECO) posts (some of which are either filled on a temporary basis or vacant) will be deleted and the 3 new ACE posts ringfenced to ECOs who are permanent staff. The current 16 Head of Service posts (some of which are filled on a temporary basis) will then be deleted and replaced with 14 Chief Officer (CO) posts, into which existing ECOs can be matched and current heads of service can be recruited through a ring-fencing process. This second phase of the restructure is due to commence in August/September and conclude by December. 

19 Apr 2024