Eastbourne will begin sharing more of its council services with Lewes after councillors formally appoint a joint chief executive.
Robert Cottrill, who is currrently chief executive for Eastbourne Borough Council, will take up a new role as a shared chief executive for EBC and Lewes District Council on Monday, January 18.
The appointment follows extraordinary full council meetings in Eastbourne on Wednesday (January 13) and Lewes yesterday (January 14).
Mr Cottrill said, “I am looking forward to driving this programme of change which will achieve much-needed savings while maintaining frontline services.”
The move is intended to make the councils as efficient as possible while retaining the sovereignty of each council – meaning there will still be two separate sets of elected councillors setting the priorities for their areas.
The councils say this move and other shared services will see annual savings of up to £2.9m by 2019/20 as well as the protection of frontline services.
In a joint statement, David Tutt leader of EBC and Andy Smith leader of LDC, said, “Both Cabinets agreed to adopt a strategy for the integration of services across the councils, and it was clear to us that this integration anticipated the early requirement for a single shared chief executive.
“We must start at the top and move to the position of having singular leadership with clarity of purpose to take forward this significant programme of change.
“With that in mind, we have been formally consulting with both chief executives about the deletion of their existing roles and the creation of a new Shared Chief Executive role.
“The result of this consultation is that Jenny [Rowlands] confirmed she would not be applying for the new role. An EBC Recruitment Panel met on December 14 and an LDC Appointments Panel met on December 17 with members at both panels unanimously voting in favour of the appointment of Robert as the shared chief executive and head of paid service.”
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