Senior employees placed on the chopping blocked helped the council save £600,000 as it looks to hire more middle managers.

Epping Forest District Council is in the process of moving away from a "traditional local government operating models based on service structures" to the Common Operating Model.

Once in place, council services will be more customer oriented, with new customerservices and business support areas having already been introduced in its Epping offices.

Part of the restructuring includes a serious cutback in the number of senior managers employed.

In the 2018/19 financial year so far, £600,000 in salaries has been saved by reducing their number.

It is unclear whether more senior managers will go, although the council does need to find an additional £1.5m either in savings or in additional income by the end of 2019/20.

A council spokesperson said: "The new approach sees only four layers of management geared towards improved efficiency and effectiveness with front-line staff empowered to make decisions as close to service delivery as possible.

"It has a policy of doing all it can to avoid compulsory redundancies and is aiming to complete the implementation of the people strategy within 18 months."

The four layers of managers start with a chief executive and strategic director - the recently appointed Georgina Blakmore - at the top, followed by manager managers or service directors below them.

By the end of January an extra 17 service managers will be employed by the council, to preside over team managers.

The district council had not responded to a request asking how many employees had/would lose their jobs by the time of publication.