A PLANNED reduction in the number of senior managers at Torfaen council will cost more than originally thought after suitable roles were not found for affected staff members.

Torfaen council is reducing its heads of service from five to four as part of a restructure which will see a new division focused solely on economic prosperity linked to the vision of City Deal.

A council report says there was "overwhelming support" for the proposals when staff were consulted.

Feedback was that the restructure made "strategic sense in terms of what services were being brought together, that a fresh perspective and challenge was given to the teams and in particular the new economy and skills division fully aligned and complemented the City Deal purpose and structure," the report says.

However, neither of the officers affected by the restructure decided to apply for the new role.

The council report says this was "not a reflection on the post, its job description or the process that was followed."

"The affected individuals considered this in depth and did not believe the role to be a suitable alternative given the change to responsibilities and strategic direction the council have embarked upon, and reached personal conclusions which fit with their circumstances and future career aspirations," it says.

"The June report did not anticipate this situation, believing at least one at risk officer would apply to the new roles."

Alternative roles for the at risk heads of service officers are limited and there are currently no suitable vacancies, the report says.

"The consequence is that both heads of service are now at risk of redundancy, with little opportunity for redeployment," it adds.

Originally, a maximum redundancy cost of £73,000 and pension strain costs of up to £44,000 per year over three years were planned.

But now that no suitable post has been found, additional redundancy costs of £67,000 and a further £44,000 over three years will be needed.

"In terms of financial impact a HoS total costs equates to c.£96,000 per annum and therefore there will be a real cash benefit within four years," the council report says.

If approved by councillors at a full meeting on Tuesday, the council's chief executive will receive a report seeking permission to advertise for a new head of economy and skills.

The affected officers will also be served with a formal at redundancy notice and an end date agreed.