I have a distinct feeling our Isle of Wight Council’s management structure is no longer fit for purpose.

Last week I spent several hours going through the agenda and reports before the IW Council Cabinet.

It was no mean task — just over 600 pages in mind-numbing detail.

It included month by month data for individual parking ticket machines across the Island. (I kid you not)

I have no idea how our elected members begin to get to grips with this stuff.

Since 2011 the council’s revenue has declined by 40 per cent, but there is, and has been, a real reluctance on the part of the council to look afresh at the management structure that supports its services.

But this fundamental change management stuff isn’t especially easy.

We could start by looking at other councils which share our demographic to give us an idea of what might be an appropriate structure.

A useful comparison could be made with those neighbouring councils, comparing the ratio of salary bill/total council expenditure/population headcount, with suitable adjustments for the Island to include increases in older population, domestic violence rates and looked after children.

We could start by talking with residents and officers about what is needed going forward, and establish a vision that has general support.

We’d need to reassure frontline staff their posts were safe, and begin to negotiate with senior staff over their current roles.

We would need someone with good change management skills to lead the process and the solid support of a competent HR team.

Introducing exemption reporting, where comment is only made when results fall outside anticipated targets, would create real savings in time, paper and discussion for the council.

The plethora of diagrams and paragraphs in those 600 pages serve only to persuade the reader that departmental managers are working hard — at producing paper…