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SPT director Bob Wylie goes amid shake-up

14 May 10 13:41 GMT

The man in charge of communications at Scotland's largest transport authority has left his post before it was due to be cut in a management shake-up.

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) communications director Bob Wylie was one of four directors whose posts were due to be downgraded.

The move, approved by the authority on Friday, is designed to save £110,000.

The other directors whose posts will be "revised" cover policy and strategy, property and human resources.

Mr Wylie had been communications director at SPT since 2006.

He joined the organisation from BBC Scotland, where he had worked for 12 years, latterly as investigations correspondent.

His role at SPT was thrust into the headlines after the organisation was engulfed in an expenses scandal earlier this year.

The body's three most senior staff - chairman, vice chair and chief executive - quit after it emerged officials had run up more than £100,000 in expenses and gone on foreign fact-finding trips.

There were also questions about expense claims from officials - including Mr Wylie - in Manchester on the day of the Uefa Cup final in 2008 between Rangers and Zenit St Petersburg.

BBC Scotland understands that in the wake of Mr Wylie's departure there will be no immediate moves to replace him.

The management shake-up will see SPT reduce its current number of senior posts from 11 to seven.

The previous structure with eight directors will be scaled back to four.

'Best services'

The directors who remain will be offered "revised senior posts".

The director of bus operations post, which is vacant after an internal promotion, will not be filled.

The move is believed to be the first stage of a wider restructuring which could affect overall staff numbers.

SPT chairman Jonathan Findlay said: "We are acutely aware of the need to ensure that any money SPT is in charge of continues to deliver the best services for our customers.

"An expected reduction in future public service funding cannot be ignored and we need to cut our cloth accordingly.

"This restructuring, alongside personnel changes already in place, delivers savings of £225,000 for this year alone. Streamlining our business allows us to continue to focus on our core services."

SPT employs about 700 people and is believed to view its own management structure as too top-heavy for projected levels of future staffing.

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