CONTINUING council reorganisation has forced out a second director of education and a third is facing the axe.
Kevin Gavin, aged 51, director in Moray, opted for an early retirement package before Christmas and is being joined by Bob McKay, the 55-year-old Perth and Kinross director and key adviser to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, who is quitting at the end of March.
Ian Mills in East Dunbartonshire will see his post disappear within three months in a merger of the two-year-old education and culture department with social work and housing.
A new head of service at a more junior grade will work under a strategic director, one of three for the whole authority, now run by the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives. A further two heads of service will cover children and families.
East Dunbartonshire says it will save almost pound;600,000. It wants to bring together broadly similar services and create newcorporate approaches. At present nine directors of service report to the chief executive.
In Moray, now run by the Independents and Labour, a similar restructuring has hit the buffers following the change of administration. Brian Stewart, the chief executive, had proposed cutting the number of service departments from six to four, merging education with culture, but was temporarily suspended last September because of legal problems surrounding the restructuring.
Amid the controversy, Mr Gavin opted for a voluntary package and will be replaced by an acting director next month.
Mr Gavin said: "It was not without some regret that, in the context of a council reorganisation, I found myself as one the few remaining senior officers of Moray Council who qualified on age terms for early retirement."
He is a former HM Inspector and chief adviser in Strathclyde, and has left to become an educational consultant.