BURY Council is cutting the number of its directorates from four to three to save £150,000.

Three new depart-ments have been established as part of the restructure in which Graham Atkinson, currently executive director of the department of communities and neighbourhoods, will take voluntary redund-ancy in September.

The new exective directors and their departments are:

  • Mike Owen: resources and regulation (formerly chief executive’s)
  • Mark Carriline: children, young people and culture (formerly children’s services)
  • Pat Jones-Greenhalgh: communities and wellbeing (formerly adult care services)

Council chiefs say the scale of the cuts between 2011-12 and 2016-17 is expected to amount to £69.1 million.

Cllr Mike Connolly, leader of Bury Council, said: “I have said on previous occasions that the council is facing unprecedented financial and organisational challenges.

"The move to a smaller council is inevitable and timely and we need to focus on areas of greatest need. It also involves better co-ordination of services and encouraging our communities to be more self-reliant.

“To help protect frontline services, I believe that the creation of three departments is the most feasible and deliverable in the current circumstances.

"This is designed to manage, commission and deliver council services in a more effective way given the challenges we face and the cuts we have to make going forward.”

He added: “Staying as we are is not a sustainable option. We will have lost more than 50 per cent of our Government funding since 2010, which strikes at the very heart of what we do and what the public have got used to us doing.

“Over the next two years the council is entering uncharted waters and I hope that residents will appreciate the impact that such financial reductions are having our ability to maintain historical levels of service.”

Mike Kelly, the council’s chief executive, added: “We have done our very best to protect frontline services for residents and vulnerable people. This has largely been done by making savings ‘in house’ and being even more efficient which has seen the loss of some 400 jobs.”