SAVINGS targets mean the top Gloucester City Council job is in the firing line.
Council chief executive Julian Wain is understood to be set to leave his £113,000-a-year role, and it is believed negotiations over his exit are at an advanced stage.
He has not been seen at its HQ this week and his office has been emptied of personal possessions, council insiders said.
The Citizen understands the chief executive post is unlikely to be filled as the council seeks to make savings at senior management level.
However, claims the council is looking at sharing a chief executive with Gloucestershire County Council are understood to be wide of the mark.
“The council has made savings of £7.5million over the last four years and we have to make further savings in the future,” said council leader Paul James (Conservative).
“Our approach has been to squeeze out efficiencies and reduce layers of management so we can protect frontline services and that will continue to be the approach.”
Labour group leader Kate Haigh said savings need to be made.
“In this challenging financial climate, the council has to consider all options when it comes to saving money,” she said. “The council is not a massive organisation these days, so it’s reasonable to look at savings at the top and all the way through.”
Liberal Democrat group leader Jeremy Hilton said: “There are savings in the budget and that includes slimming down at all levels including senior management. Whether those savings are made remains to be seen.”
When the Citizen asked to speak to Mr Wain yesterday, a spokesman said he was unavailable.
But the council released the following statement, which read: “The council’s recently-approved budget includes a savings target for senior management costs and we are currently carrying out a review of how that can be best achieved.”
Mr Wain hit the headlines in January when Private Eye published details of his partner Sadie Neal’s appointment to a £51,000-a-year city council job. It follows a tumultuous 18 months for the council which was riven by several staff departures over allegations of nepotism.
The council denied any wrongdoing in Miss Neal’s appointment as business improvement manager. A subsequent council investigation found ‘proper process’ was followed, there was ‘no involvement nor influence exerted by the chief executive’, and she was appointed on her own merit.