Department merger pledge


- Credit: Archant

THE merger of two vital council departments will not affect the quality of service given to vulnerable people, the public has been assured.

North Somerset Council is set to make the move as part of a mission to save more than £80million over the next seven years.

All but the most vital services could be axed or drastically streamlined as a result of the major financial challenge.

The council is set to make a decision on whether its adult social services and children and young people’s services directorates could merge.

At a meeting of the children and young people’s service policy and scrutiny panel last week, members discussed whether a new, single directorate could be launched by June. The Institute Of Public Care, which provided an independent review into the plans for the district, believes the council can make a safe transition to the new system.

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If the proposals are approved there will be one director for the new department, while there will also be a reduction in staffing. The report presented at the meeting will also need to be approved by other scrutiny panels.

It says: “Senior officers affected by the proposals have been directly involved in the development of this report and are supportive of the proposals.

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“Other employees potentially affected will be fully consulted as the arrangements are developed in more detail, as will the trade unions.

“The creation of a single directorate will not have an adverse impact on diverse or more vulnerable groups within the community.

“A further reduction in senior management costs will make a significant contribution towards addressing the council’s financial challenges.”

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