Decision Maker: Strategy and Resources Committee
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Following the recent resignation of the Chief Executive the Committee received a report requesting Members to decide on the preferred replacement route for that post.
The report set out the range and costs of available options Members were advised to consider and also covered suggested arrangements for temporary cover until such a time as the recruitment was complete. The report covered the statutory functions of the Head of Paid Service and Electoral Returning Officer, roles to which the Council is legally required to appoint.
The following matters were considered:
a) Appointment of Returning Officer. Following a question from a Member, the Monitoring Officer informed the Committee that the early release of the Chief Executive from her role as Returning Officer would not cause any validity issues for the West Ewell By-election on 7 July as long as the Council appointed a new Returning Officer at the same time.
b) Consideration of options. The Committee considered the recruitment options presented by the report. Following debate of the benefits and disadvantages of each option, the Committee considered that a further option should be put forward. The additional option would involve the commencement of recruitment of a permanent Chief Executive Officer, and in the interim period the Director of Corporate Services should be appointed as the Interim Chief Executive Officer and Head of Paid Service with a 10% uplift to her salary. The Committee also considered that a budget of up to £50,000 should be provided from the Corporate Projects Reserve to provide additional support in whatever form the Interim Chief Executive decided. The Committee considered that this would provide continuity to the Council’s Officer Team and support where needed.
Following consideration, the Committee resolved by majority vote with 5 votes for, 1 vote against, 2 abstentions and the Chair not voting:
To recommend that the Council:
(1) Agrees to go out to recruit a permanent Chief Executive Officer and that in the interim period appoints the Director of Corporate Services for a 6-month period as the Interim Chief Executive Officer and Head of Paid Service, with a 10% uplift to her salary, and provides a budget of up to £50,000 funded from the Corporate Projects Reserve to provide additional support.
(2) Agrees to release the existing Chief Executive from her role as Head of Paid Service and Returning Officer from 4 July and to appoint the Director of Corporate Services as Returning Officer with effect from 5 July 2022 until a permanent Chief Executive Officer is recruited in accordance with recommendation (1).
The Committee resolved unanimously:
That the Committee agreed:
(3) To establish a Member sub-committee in accordance with the terms of reference in Appendix 4 to the report , which will progress the necessary recruitment process, in conjunction with officers, and bring forward a recommended appointment in accordance with the preferred option to a future meeting of Full Council for ratification;
(4) That the Head of Paid Service Sub-Committee would be politically proportionate and that nominations to its Membership would be agreed by the relevant political groups.
Report author: Jackie King
Publication date: 07/07/2022
Date of decision: 04/07/2022
Decided at meeting: 04/07/2022 - Strategy and Resources Committee