Council to spend more than £250k on recruiting new staff

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:15 30 August 2018

Weston's Town Hall.

Weston's Town Hall.

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North Somerset Council has revealed plans to recruit a new permanent chief executive and head of finance at a cost of more than £250,000.

The authority has lost three senior officials this year, with two going to the West of England Combined Authority (WECA)

Director of development and the environment David Carter resigned first. Mike Jackson then walked away from his £145,000 salary as chief executive to go to Bristol City Council, and in July head of finance Malcolm Coe stepped down to join WECA.

MORE: Council loses third senior officer in seven months as chief financial boss quits.

The council confirmed its employment committee will decide the level of salaries paid to the two senior posts, but both roles have been advertised with a ‘ball park’ salary of circa £150,000 for the chief executive and circa £100,000 for the chief finance officer.

Additionally, the authority will spend £27,000 on Penna as recruitment consultants to ‘provide specialist executive search, recruitment support and general advice for both roles’.

A council spokesman said: “The challenges to local government as a whole, the potential for change within the region and the importance of maintaining key projects and programmes in North Somerset, as well as imminent elections, all reinforce the need for the council to have the corporate statutory officer roles filled on a permanent basis.

“Securing permanent appointments to the chief executive and chief finance officer roles will help ensure the council continues to have the necessary strategic leadership and financial advice and support during a period of significant challenge and change.”

Councillor Mike Bell said it is ‘appalling’ the authority has decided to spend almost £30,000 on recruitment consultants.

He told the Mercury: “Local taxpayers will be shocked to learn, despite promises of a senior management review to cut spending, the council is pressing ahead with recruiting top managers at a cost of a quarter of a million pounds.

“The payment of £27,000 to recruitment consultants to tell them how to compile a job advert and recruit the right staff is appalling.

“This is more than many people earn in a year and is an insult to those who are told there is no money to empty bins, clean our streets or repair our roads and pavements.”

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