One Chief Exec, two councils

LB Hammersmith & Fulham now shares a chief executive with RB Kensington and Chelsea.

Derek Myers, who has been chief executive of RBKC since 2000, took the helm at both councils after his appointment was ratified by H&F Council on October 19.

The move, which will save the two authorities some £200,000 a year, is the latest in a series of major senior management shares between three west London councils.

In May this year Westminster, LBHF and RBKC agreed plans to combine a range of services. Children’s services, adult social care and libraries are already in the process of being shared and single “Tri-borough” directors have been appointed for each. Under the plan, there will be approximately 500 management and back office jobs cut across the three boroughs.

The overall proposals are expected to save £33.4 million by 2014/15.

Kensington and Chelsea and H&F will not only share a Chief Executive, but also the management and delivery of environmental services such as waste management, leisure, transportation, licensing and environmental heath. The two boroughs already share a director of legal services and a director of transportation and highways. Services “key to local areas”, such as housing management, licensing and planning are not being combined.

“If we are going to protect our front line services then management and back offices must take the brunt of the savings programme,” explained the Leader of Kensington and Chelsea, Cllr Sir Merrick Cockell. “The savings go right to the very top, and one of the reasons that is possible is because in Derek Myers we have someone capable of taking on the role of dual chief executive, notwithstanding its scale and complexity.”

Before joining Kensington and Chelsea, Derek Myers was chief executive at the London Borough of Hounslow and before that its director of social services. Geoff Alltimes CBE, the present Chief Executive of LBHF is retiring after more than 30 years of service.

Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh, Leader of H&F Council, said: “At a time when the state of the nation’s finances mean that we have to save millions of pounds, our residents can be assured that we are doing everything possible to cut back office and management costs, not the services they rely on the most.”

 

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