Top council jobs with six-figure salaries vacant months after departures

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 February 2019

Weston-super-Mare Town Hall.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Weston-super-Mare Town Hall. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

Top managerial posts at North Somerset Council, including one responsible for the regeneration of Weston, remain unfilled months after they became vacant.

The authority is yet to find people for its head of finance and director of developer environment roles, months after they became vacant.

Successors to former finance boss Malcolm Coe and development director David Carter are yet to be employed, and interim leaders are still holding the reins.

In August, North Somerset garnered criticism after enlisting help from recruitment consultants Penna to find a new chief executive – following Mike Jackson’s departure to Bristol City Council in July – and head of finance at the cost of £27,000.

The search led to the appointment of Jo Walker as the council’s top boss on a salary in the region of £150,000, but the consultants were unsuccessful in finding a replacement for Mr Coe – who completed his notice in October.

The council said it was not left out of pocket by the failed recruitment drive, but the Mercury understands it still paid Penna for help in hiring Ms Walker.

Its spokesman said: “We didn’t make payments to Penna in relation to the recruitment of a head of finance role as we were unable to secure an appointment.

“We are preparing to re-advertise the role and are not planning to use external consultants. The recruitment process will be managed wholly by the council.”

Mr Coe’s replacement will earn a ballpark salary of £100,000.

Mr Carter’s departure was the first of the three senior exits suffered by the authority last year, leaving his post in May – but the council only began searching for his replacement in January.

The deadline for applications is Monday, and a salary of £125,000 is on offer.

The council’s job advertisement for the role, which includes overseeing Weston’s regeneration, says: “This is a unique opportunity to be at the centre of our ambitious programme for economic growth and placemaking across North Somerset.

“We are committed to revitalising, regenerating and enhancing the economic vitality of our area and are looking for an experienced and enthusiastic individual to maintain momentum on delivery of our regeneration and placemaking aspirations.”

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