Appointment of Chief Executive, Head of Paid Service (including Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer)
The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development presented a report on the options for recruiting a new Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service. The role also required the post holder to be appointed as the Council’s Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer.
The report gave details of issues for consideration and decision, including:
· Delegation to an Appointments Panel
· Potential use of recruitment consultants
· Potential use of professional advisors to the panel
· Appropriate salary for the role
· Requirements of the role as defined in the Job Description and Person Specification
· Proposed selection process and timetable
· Interim arrangements
Councillor Green queried what other options had been considered, such as did the Council need to appoint another Chief Executive with three Strategic Directors in post or was there any potential for sharing a Chief Executive? He also asked whether the salary referred to included fees paid in respect of the Returning Officer role. He suggested that these roles should be listed within the terms of the job description.
Councillor Phil Davies responded that he believed Wirral Council as the ninth largest Metropolitan Authority in England and the second largest in the Liverpool City Region, the Council did need its own Chief Executive. He was not aware of any other Local Authority in the North West without a Chief Executive. He was aware of three London boroughs which shared a Chief Executive but he would be concerned how much time, energy and commitment a shared Chief Executive would have to focus on Wirral.
Councillor Gilchrist stated that the size of the organisation and its workforce was not the size it was three years ago and various regrading exercises had taken place. He suggested that the terms of reference of the proposed Panel could be amended to reflect this.
At the invitation of the Chair, the current Chief Executive gave his views, although he stated that it was normal for a retiring Chief Executive not to be involved in the actual recruitment process for his successor. He stated that the role would be a very significant task for a shared Chief Executive and that the Council should proceed with the recruitment of a full time Chief Executive. He felt that the current salary was too low to attract candidates across the North West.
It was moved by Councillor Jeff Green and seconded by Councillor Lesley Rennie, that –
“An addition to the recommendation be that the Panel receive a report from the current Chief Executive and Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development on whether there is an opportunity to share a Chief Executive.”
The motion was put and lost (3:4).
On a motion by Councillor Gilchrist, seconded by Councillor Green, it was
Resolved (unanimously) - That the term of reference (1) for the Chief Executive be amended to read:
“To review the current salary based on the changing market, the reduced size and the scope of the Authority and its workforce and the revised roles and grades of staff. To recommend any change in salary to Council (as deemed appropriate).”
Councillor Green then raised the issue of £1.5m savings to be made through a revised senior management structure. Councillor Phil Davies stated that there were some savings to be brought forward in terms of a revised management structure and a new Chief Executive would be looking to implement their own management structure which would achieve these savings. The current Chief Executive confirmed that some individuals had already come forward for voluntary severance / retirement, which would contribute towards this amount of savings.
Councillor Phil Davies confirmed that he would be happy for the current Chief Executive to give advice to the proposed Appointments Panel, although he wouldn’t take part in the actual recruitment process.
The Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development, with the Committee’s agreement, circulated a revised set of recommendations to the report, together with a revised Terms of Reference, which took account of a proposal to appoint an Appointments Panel for the recruitment of a Director of Resources, the current one having tendered her resignation and who was due to leave in December, 2014.
On a motion by Councillor Phil Davies, seconded by Councillor McLachlan, it was –
Resolved (5:3) – That this Committee agrees:
(1) The establishment of two Appointments Panels, in the ratio, 4:2:1, for the recruitment and appointment of a new Chief Executive who shall also be appointed as the Council’s Head of Paid Service, Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer (“Chief Executive”) as outlined in the report, and for the recruitment and appointment of a new Director of Resources and Section 151 Officer.
(2) The Terms of Reference of the Appointments Panels as set out in the amended Appendix Five circulated to the Committee and as further amended by the motion agreed above.
(3) The appointment of Penna Plc as the recruitment consultants to support the recruitment processes in line with the current contracting arrangements.
(4) The appointment of a senior manager from the Local Government Association, to act as professional advisor to the Appointments Panel for the Chief Executive appointment, and an appropriate technical advisor to support the Appointments Panel for the recruitment of the Director of Resources and Section 151 Officer.
(5) The proposed process and timescales for appointment of a new Chief Executive (who shall also be appointed as the Head of Paid Service, Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer) as outlined in Appendix Four to the report (subject to any change approved by the Appointments Panel).
(6) That the appropriate Appointments Panel also considers any interim arrangements required in relation to the roles of Chief Executive, Head of Paid Service, Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer that may be required and recommends to Council such interim arrangements as are considered appropriate.
(7) That the appropriate Appointments Panel also considers any interim arrangements required in relation to the Director of Resources and Section 151 Officer.
- CEx EA Report, item 4. PDF 82 KB
- Appendix 1 CEx salary data, item 4. PDF 36 KB
- Appendix 2 Chief Officer Grades, item 4. PDF 28 KB
- Appendix 3 CEx JD and PS, item 4. PDF 127 KB
- Appendix 4 Draft Timetable, item 4. PDF 38 KB
- Appendix 5 Proposed Terms of Reference, item 4. PDF 36 KB