Agenda item

Permanency of Senior Management Structure (Agenda item 9)

Report of Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, Leader of the Council.


Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, the Leader of the Council presented the report.


Members were asked to cast their minds back to the time when he had written to all Members about the departure of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and since then to appoint an interim Head of Paid Service for the authority to see the organisation through the parting of the ways with South Holland District Council after a very successful 12 years.


Members were asked to note other areas within the report, such as the wider strategic partnership with other councils across Norfolk.


Approval was being sought to undertake 5 recommendations, and these were proposed and seconded accordingly.


Councillor Birt was content with the first recommendation; however, the other aspects of this report did not seem to offer a clear justification as to the need of a CEO and the report itself had not explored any possible alternatives.  He had noticed that there was also a very precise figure of £68,000 per annum budget increase but again he felt there was no justification for that figure.  He felt that some further work should be carried out on these matters before considering the recommendations.


Councillor Jermy said he was always nervous about interim arrangements and more nervous when such arrangements dragged on for a long period of time and therefore was pleased with the recommendations. He asked the Leader for clarification on whether it would be a Full Council decision on the appointment of a new CEO and if the role of the CEO would be the same as the Head of Paid Service and would these two roles be combined.  He also drew attention to the draft structure as he had noticed that there were still quite manager level vacancies within the organisation and was concerned about the number of vacancies and asked if these would be progressed in tandem with the recruitment of the CEO.


In response to Councillor Birt’s question, the Leader advised that the Scheme of Delegation was capped at £68,000 and anything beyond that for this purpose would need to come back to Full Council for ratification.


The Leader agreed with Councillor Jermy that interim was not fit for purpose. The CEO post would go through internal recruitment first of all and the Constitution did not require this matter to come back to Full Council for clarification; however, he would ensure that this would happen on this particular appointment.  This would be an Appointment & Disciplinary Panel’s recommendation to Full Council and of course debated as to whether the recommendation should be agreed.   


The CEO and the Head of Paid Service position would be merged once a CEO had been appointed. In relation to gaps in the organisation structure most of these positions had now been filled and it was the responsibility of the Assistant Directors and the Head of HR to move those forward as quickly as possible. With regard to the wider structure if a Director or an Assistant Director applied for the post of CEO and was successful, the position would be backfilled but not at the same time. With regard to the backfilling of a Director or an Assistant Director position that might not come back to Full Council for ratification depending on the timeline.  


The recommendations were taken enbloc, and subject to Councillor Birt voting against recommendations 2 to 5, it was:



1)       the interim Senior Management Structure be made permanent;


2)       an Appointments & Disciplinary Panel be convened, and an internal recruitment process be undertaken to appoint a permanent Chief Executive Officer. If an internal appointment is unsuccessful an external recruitment process be undertaken;


3)       delegation be granted to the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, in consultation with the Leader, to make changes to the current Senior Management Structure as necessary, providing such changes do not increase the budget by more than £68,000 per annum;


4)       subject to successful recruitment of an internal candidate for the recruitment of a Chief Executive Officer, the Appointments & Disciplinary Panel be convened for any consequential recruitment within the Senior Management Structure; and


5)       delegation be granted to the Leader in consultation with the S151 Officer, to change the salary of the Chief Executive Officer.

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