County council to reinstate chief executive post two years after scrapping role

West Sussex County Council

West Sussex County Council

  • Plans to reinstate chief executive post at West Sussex County Council
  • Last chief executive stood down in January 2014 and two new posts were created
  • Most senior officer at county council due to step down in the spring
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The post of chief executive is set to be reinstated at West Sussex County Council two years after the role was scrapped.

Kieran Stigant stood down in January 2014 and instead of appointing a replacement the council created two new posts for a chief operating officer and a transformation director, roles which were later merged in September 2014.

Gill Steward, chief operating officer of West Sussex County Council, and Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council,

Gill Steward, chief operating officer of West Sussex County Council, and Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council,

Since the current chief operating officer Gill Steward, who is on an interim contract, is due to leave the county council in the spring her post is set to be deleted and a new chief executive officer role created.

On the salary level, a Governance Committee report reads: “It is proposed that the county council takes a prudent but realistic approach to ensure that it attracts and retains the right candidate and that the reward package is closely aligned to the delivery of a set of objectives that are monitored closely.

“Following provisional market testing a provisional salary range has been identified for consideration in the event that the proposal for the role is approved.”

There would be no performance bonus in addition to the ‘substantive’ salary proposed, with the setting and delivery of objectives and outcomes agreed by WSCC’s leader, chairman, and cabinet member for finance.

Kieran Stigant, former chief executive at WSCC

Kieran Stigant, former chief executive at WSCC

The report argues that the two new roles created in 2014 had delivered ‘what was required’ and a ‘more permanent arrangement for a single point of officer accountability should be made’.

The Governance Committee will decide whether or not to endorse the proposed changes to the council’s corporate leadership Monday January 25, and then an Appointing Committee will handle the hiring process.

Since April 2014 around £7.5m of reductions in spend on management graded posts has either been achieved or identified.

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