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SKDC management 'clear out' costs rocket by £156,000

The cost of a ‘clear out’ of top bosses at South Kesteven District Council has now ballooned to £866,000.

The figure, given in a council report, replaces the previously reported total of £710,000.

The report commented: “This is the actual cost incurred following the implementation of the new senior management arrangements. The full year saving of the new structure will be £300,000 for the general fund and the general payback is two years and 10 months.”

Phil Dilks (6816449)
Phil Dilks (6816449)

No further details of the increase were given in the Q3 financial monitoring report prepared for Wednesday’s meeting of growth overview and scrutiny committee.

Opposition councillors have repeatedly accused SKDC of having a ‘clear out’ of its top bosses and questioned the cost.

Labour councillor Phil Dilks said on Wednesday he would want to see a breakdown of the payments, including pay-offs, ‘golden handshakes’ and extra recruitment costs.

He told the Journal: “There are serious questions to ask. I hope the scrutiny committee will raise this with cabinet.

“£866,000 is a lot of money. We are asking people to pay more council tax for £866,000 of payments to senior council staff, many of whom gave loyal and exemplary service over the years.”

Independent councillor Ashley Baxter told the Journal he suspected the £156,000 cost increase may stem from the recent departure ‘by mutual agreement’ of SKDC’s senior legal officer after 30 years of service.

He added: “I have asked about the cost of the settlement but I’m told it has to be kept secret for legal reasons.

“This is at least the third expensive senior management departure. One could argue that none of them were absolutely necessary.”

A spokesman for SKDC said: “The organisation is going through a period of change. This process is still ongoing.

“As part of this process a review of senior management was carried out and, as a result, some chose to take voluntary redundancy or early retirement.

“The restructure will bring savings of £300,000 a year when compared with the previous arrangements, offsetting the cost within three years.

“The details of individual cases are HR issues and, therefore, it would be wholly inappropriate for the council to comment.”

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