Three of Birmingham City Council’s highest-paid bosses are fighting against each other to save their jobs in a major staffing shake-up.
Interviews are starting for a new super-director position, combining legal, human resources, finance and policy directorates under one high-powered official.
Battling for the position are believed to be Mirza Ahmad, who currently heads the legal and democratic services unit, Paul Dransfield, the chief financial officer, and Jason Lowther, who is in charge of policy.
Only one candidate can win the race to take the new job, which is believed to have a salary of about £120,000.
An extensive reshuffle of the council’s administrative heart will save £2.4 million a year, and four chief officer posts are set to disappear.
The new post is not being advertised externally. City chief executive Stephen Hughes said the intention was to fill the vacancy from among existing staff.
He added that bringing together the different departments under one director would help the council respond more effectively to the threat of huge government cuts in public spending.
The clampdown is expected to reduce the local authority’s budget by about £330 million over the next four years.
Mr Hughes said he expected that most council departments, apart from education, would have to trim spending by almost one-third.
Describing the scale of the challenge as “considerable”, Mr Hughes said Birmingham was better placed than most councils to deal with the financial onslaught because it had already identified almost £100 million savings through its business transformation programme.
He added that some of the services run by the council might disappear if they were regarded as non-essential, or be taken over by volunteers.
Mr Hughes said: “Change on this scale will not be easy, but to deliver the savings that we need to make and protect the public from the consequences of these spending reductions, we need to radically change the way we operate.”