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Report recommends cuts to save Swanley Town Council £60,000
SWANLEY Banqueting should be franchised and two top positions must be merged if Swanley Town Council is to save money, according to a consultant.
Town clerk Brian Daley called in independent consultant Roger Wilkins to carry out an eight-day report on its structure and staffing, at a cost of £500 a day.
The confidential report, a copy of which was anonymously delivered to the News Shopper offices, aims to save the council £60,000.
Mr Wilkins asserts: “The management and administrative overhead of the council seems disproportionately high for the size or the organisation and the structure and some roles are not well defined.”
He concludes Swanley Banqueting - a mechanism used to fund the activities of the council - carries a risk for town council’s finances if there is a downturn in business.
The report reads: “This council would be wise to explore alternative delivery mechanisms which minimise this risk by outsourcing to an alternative provider.
“The council would still benefit from such an arrangement through profit share and franchise fees.”
It is also suggested Brian Daley’s role as town clerk and chief executive should be merged with the position of chief financial officer.
The report states how Mr Daley’s salary, which is £76,647 plus a company car, is on a par with that of directors at some district and borough council’s.
Mr Wilkins says the scale, scope and accountabilities of Mr Daley’s role are best likened to a head of service post, which would earn between £50,000 and £70,000 at Sevenoaks District Council.
Referring to Veronica Brazier’s £49,353-a-year chief financial officer role, Mr Wilkins says the council “is effectively over-paying for some administrative type work.”
Furthermore, it is recommended one of the council’s two assistant town clerks should be laid off to reduce savings further.
By merging the two top roles and removing one assistant town clerk, the council would save more than £50,000 a year.
Money could also be saved, according to Mr Wilkins, by closing the reception facility at the Civic Centre in St Mary’s Road and carrying out all reception activities at the information centre in London Road.
This could cut costs by £16,000 each year.
The report was seen by members of the council’s personnel committee on October 17 and is set to be debated at the full council meeting on November 28.
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