Corporate, General

Ground-breaking Surrey deal set to be extended

Mole Valley District Council and Surrey County Council are set to extend a ground-breaking staff sharing scheme that will save taxpayers around £100,000.

Yvonne Rees, the county council’s Strategic Director for Customers and Communities, will continue as Mole Valley’s Interim Chief Executive until March 2014 under plans unveiled in a new report.

Ms Rees would carry on as a strategic director at the county council and share her time between both authorities. The arrangement would save about £100,000 of public money as Ms Rees’ salary will continue to remain the same.

When she joined Mole Valley last September, it was thought to be the first time a director of a county council had also taken on the chief executive role at a district council.

Initiatives the two authorities are working on together include:

  • This summer’s Prudential RideLondon Surrey 100 and Classic events being staged as part of an annual two-day festival of cycling developed by the Mayor of London
  • Environmental health and trading standards teams working jointly to cut costs and link food hygiene and quality control more closely.

They come after the two councils worked together to bring the Olympic road cycle races to the county – a project overseen by Ms Rees. In addition, they continued a scheme allowing social care staff to share the offices of both organisations.

The Leader of Mole Valley District Council, Councillor Chris Townsend, said: “I am delighted that Yvonne Rees has agreed, with the support of Surrey County Council, to continue in her role as Interim Chief Executive for Mole Valley District Council for the next year, subject to approval at Council on 19 February.

“Yvonne has made a strong and positive impact in her short time at Mole Valley; one which I know will grow over the next 12 months. As a small local authority, we have challenging times ahead and I am confident that Yvonne will give us the strength of leadership that we need to ensure that we continue to provide the level of service our residents deserve.”

Surrey County Council Leader David Hodge said: “This ground-breaking arrangement has already benefited local residents. Our approach is all about everyone pulling together as one team, whether we’re a council, the police, or a business, so it’s important to continue to build these strong relationships.”

Ms Rees said: “I’ve enjoyed the past five months immensely and I’m excited about the prospect of continuing. I guarantee my continued hard work, energy and commitment to joining up the staff and resources of both councils for the benefit of communities.”

Ends

Notes for editors

Ms Rees’ responsibilities for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service will continue to be held by the county council’s Strategic Director for Adult Social Care Sarah Mitchell and her cultural services role will remain with Assistant Chief Executive Susie Kemp.

She will keep her responsibilities for trading standards, community safety and partnership working as well as customer services and the contact centre.

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