Alan Davey

ACE board members cut from nine to five

Patrick Steel, 14.08.2012
Staff and union consultation ongoing
Following government instructions to cut administration in half, Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England (ACE), has informed staff that ACE’s board of nine will be cut to five.

Althea Efunshile will be promoted from chief operating officer to deputy chief executive officer, Simon Mellor will become chief of cultural strategy leadership, Moria Sinclair, formerly the director of London ACE, is to become head of national growth opportunities, and Laura Dyer, former area executive director for the midlands and south west, will become director of national place based work.

These roles will replace the positions currently on the board alongside the chief executive: area executive director, east and south east; area executive director, London; area executive director, midlands and south west; area executive director, north; chief operating officer; executive director, advocacy and communications; executive director, arts; executive director, resources; and a management committee representative.

There are no area executive directors on the proposed board, but an ACE spokeswoman said that as part of their roles Dyer would be responsible for the north, the midlands, and the south west, and Sinclair for London and the south east.

The Museums Association has also been given to understand that the Acquisitions, Exports, Loans and Collections Unit will remain unaffected by the restructure.

The spokeswoman defended ACE’s proposal to downgrade the post of executive director of resources, which included finance and was on the board: “The finance officer will report to the deputy chief executive, but the postholder will advise the chief executive and attend all council meetings at which financial advice is needed.”

Mark Taylor, Museums Association director, said: “If you make an organisation cut its administration by 50% then you have to think of new models. How ACE chooses its structure is up to it, but for museums the most important thing is the continuation of help and support on the ground."

In total, 559.5 posts are being reduced to 430.5 by July next year. The consultation with staff and unions ends in mid-October, and the new structure will be announced shortly after that. The final structure will be fully in place by July 2013.