New council chief exec process approved but Lib Dems not happy - Business Leader News

New council chief exec process approved but Lib Dems not happy

Cllr Mike Bell

Cllr Mike Bell

Councillors have approved the process to appoint a new chief executive for North Somerset Council, following the recent announcement of Graham Turner’s retirement from the role this November.

The recruitment process will now begin and it is hoped that an appointment will be made in July.

Cllr Tony Lake, Executive Member for Human Resources, comments: “The council will shortly have two directors and one chief executive, which is two fewer directors than 18 months ago.

“Having already made such significant reductions and savings in the senior management team of the organisation, it is vital that we retain the role of chief executive to ensure strong leadership capacity.

“The rate of pay sits below the national average for equivalent roles at other local authorities, and given the scale of the challenge the organisation faces over the coming years, we need to be able to attract a high-calibre leader.”

But Cllr Mike Bell, who is leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group on North Somerset Council, says the new chief executive should take a lower salary.

Cllr Bell, and fellow Liberal Democrats, also feel the new post-holder should be paid according to the results he or she achieves.

The new chief executive will be paid a fixed salary of £145,000 pa.

Cllr Mike Bell comments: “I am concerned that the council just hasn’t done its homework properly.

“The council has not looked at sharing the post with another authority to cut costs.

“The salary, on-costs, expenses, pension and secretarial costs have not been properly added up and presented to councillors.

“Tory councillors have rubber stamped a decision without even the basic information to decide if its a good idea or not.

“At the very least, the council should be looking to take on a new chief executive at a lower starting salary and only offer more if the person appointed can hit challenging performance targets.

“£145,000 a year is a lot of public money – and that’s just the basic salary being proposed.

“The council must show it is living within its means and making every effort to cut costs and get a better return for the taxpayer.”