BURY’S police chief is stepping aside as part of a top level shake-up within Greater Manchester Police.

Chief Superintendent Tim Forber took over as the borough’s divisional commander last July, but is moving to a new post in March.

His role will be taken over by Rochdale’s Chief Superintendent Annette Anderson, who will perform the role for both Bury and Rochdale divisions for an interim period of at least six months until a new management structure comes into force.

Chief Supt Forber will be relinquishing his role, together with three other divisional chief superintendents, to work on a “change project” team tasked with devising a new forcewide structure.

The latest changes are set to save Greater Manchester Police (GMP) up to £250,000 a year.

Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “Recently, the Home Office said that budget cuts will continue until 2018 and that will affect all public services.

“I genuinely believe that, in the past few years, we have made some significant gains in the way Greater Manchester is policed.

“We do not want to go back to being a force that just responds to emergency situations and I believe that that will not be the case.”

He added: “When I took over the role in 2008, we had more than 8,000 officers and it is looking like, by 2018, we could be left with closer to 6,000.

“I am the public would much prefer we make cuts at the top rather than frontline services.”

Bury Council leader Cllr Mike Connolly said: “As a council, we know only too well the pressure that huge financial reductions inevitably have on staffing and service levels.

“We are, of course, concerned about any reduction in policing strength.

“Bury residents will want to be re-assured that reorganisation at the most senior levels will not hit frontline policing and affect public confidence in the service.

“For our part, we will continue to work closely with the police in any way we can to keep our community safe.”

Sir Peter responded: “I understand the council’s concerns, but I am confident that the changes will not impact on the way we work together with the council on reducing crime and anti-social behaviour in Bury.”