SIC chief executive Alistair Buchan today confirmed that depute chief executive Hazel Sutherland is to leave the authority along with seven other senior staff in a move designed to save £500,000-a-year, although she will remain for the time being in her head of finance role to help deal with the looming budget crisis.
Ms Sutherland will be joined by head of roads Ian Halcrow, building services manager David Williamson, emergency planning and resilience manager John Taylor, community work manager Bill Crook, community care resources manager Wolfgang Weis, library and information services manager Silvija Crook and transport planning and support manager Billy Thompson.
Mr Buchan said: “As part of the restructuring process, we offered everyone affected the chance to volunteer for early retirement or voluntary redundancy. The same policies were applied to that process as for any member of staff wanting to leave.
“We always knew that some folk would take up the opportunity to move on. All the managers leave with the council’s sincere thanks for the work they have done over the years and our best wishes for the future. Obviously a lot of experience is going out the door, but that is a challenge we must face up to.”
Most of the staff will leave after working their three months notice. “The standard notice period for senior managers is three months,” said Mr Buchan, “so I would expect most of the staff will have left by the end of September. That obviously ties in with the timing of the new management structure, which we’re working hard to have in place by September as well. I admit that it’s a very demanding timetable, but, as I have said before, I want this to be completed with the least disruption possible.”
The council has also received enquiries from other members of staff on their options for leaving and these will be considered shortly.
“We’ve worked closely with the local trade unions throughout and I think they understand where we’re coming from. One of the principal drivers for the unions and the council in all of this is to protect the existing workforce and avoid the need for compulsory redundancies if at all possible.”