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UK — Interim Managers streamline local councils

27 November 2009

Local councils are increasingly turning to interim managers as they are facing government pressure to cut budgets as well as improve services and change the way they are delivered, the Guardian reports.

According to the latest figures from the Interim Management Association (IMA) local councils account for 29% of all public sector assignments for interim managers, second only to the health sector with 31%.

Helen Wilson, Business Manager for recruitment agency Veredus, said "there is quite a lot more emphasis on change management, efficiencies and value for money. Safeguarding experts are also in incredibly high demand, particularly with children's services after the death of baby P. (a recent highly publicised child abuse case)."
John Redfern, Head of Personnel at Manchester City Council, said "we have used interim managers in financial management, waste management and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). It tends to be specialist areas where there isn't the option to use a good general manager."

David Weir, Sector Head of local government for recruitment agency Penna Executive Interim, said "we have had quite a busy year in local government, mainly due to change management."

Neil Lupin, Senior Partner at Green Park Interim and Executive Resourcing, comments "hiring managers are having to justify the expense but they can do that by looking at the resulting savings, for instance if structures are set up that streamline the organisation."

Gary Lawton, Director (public sector) of the agency Russam GMS, is positively bullish. "I have had conversations with various chief executives and have been told that the delivery focus will mean interim managers will be in much greater demand. Off the back of that we are investing in that area. It's a double-edged sword; it's all change, and the culture of how councils operate has to change. But for us, as providers of interims, it's good, because they're in demand."

To read the latest IMA market audit please click here



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