North Somerset Council’s new chief exec appointed

Retiring chief exec Graham Turner

 Graham Turner, who will retire in November

North Somerset Council has appointed a new chief executive to succeed Graham Turner, who retires in November following 12 years in the role.

Mike Jackson, 46, will join the council in November and his appointment received cross-party unanimous support from the council’s employment committee.

Mike is currently the director of environment, transport and development at Norfolk County Council, where he has worked for nine years.

His previous experience also includes a spell as interim deputy chief executive at Nottingham City Council.

Cllr Nigel Ashton, Leader of the Council commens: “I am delighted that Mike will be joining us later in the year.

“His experience in central government as well as local government will be an invaluable asset to the council.”

Mike Jackson comments: “I am very much looking forward to my move from Norfolk to North Somerset.

“Norfolk has faced challenges similar to those in North Somerset including significant budget reductions at a time when demand for services is rising, and I am keen to put my experience alongside those already working locally.

“The interview process gave me the chance to meet a wide range of people from North Somerset Council and partner organisations. I was struck by their passion for what they do, and commitment to North Somerset. It’s very exciting to have the opportunity to be part of this.”

Cllr Mike Bell, who is leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat group on North Somerset Council,  previoulsy said the new chief executive should take a salary lower than is currenly offered.

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 said in May: “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.”