Top jobs could be axed at Moray Council as the authority continues to battle to balance the books.
About £19million needs to be slashed from the finances over the next two years to ensure services can continue to operate.
Now it has been revealed that the council’s three current director positions, which all command salaries of more than £90,000, will be replaced by two new depute chief executive positions, subject to consultation with staff.
Meanwhile, one less head of service position will remain on the books through closer working with Health and Social Care Moray.
The proposals, which will involve no salary increases, are expected to save more than £200,000 from annual budgets with the cash being used in the short-term to hire education experts to examine the local system.
A row over reducing the number of director positions from three to two broke apart the council’s previous Conservative and independent administration last year when it was decided to invite applicants for the two posts that were vacant instead of waiting for the results of a review.
Yesterday Tory group leader Tim Eagle welcomed the step but believed it had been taken a year later than necessary.
He said: “The issue in the past has been that there has been a view that we have cut cleaning staff and janitors and never done anything about management.
“Our view when we were in the administration was that far larger councils than Moray were taking these steps so why shouldn’t we, and it’s very frustrating that it has taken a year and a half to get here.”
A management advisor proposed the shake-up after being given the remit of analysing the role of senior managers.
Councillors approved the new structure, which is expected to take effect from October following the consultation with staff.
Council leader Graham Leadbitter said: “We must attract and retain talent, and provide a structure that allows our staff to transform services – for the benefit of the public and the council’s financial sustainability.
“We’ve taken the advice of an impartial expert to streamline management roles. This will ensure that we can continue to offer best value for taxpayers whilst providing the much-needed and relied-upon services for our residents.”