Interim chief exec appointed

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AN INTERIM chief executive for Suffolk County Council has been appointed while a permanent replacement is sought for previous post holder Andrea Hill.

Lucy Robinson will officially take on the role from Monday for an initial six months on a £150,000 pro rata salary.

The authority’s staff appointments committee confirmed the move on Tuesday but is yet to decide the salary rate for Mrs Hill’s successor.

It is expected that councillors will agree the pay scale in September.

The earnings of the county’s chief executive have caused controversy in recent years after Mrs Hill pocketed £218,000 a year while helping to impose millions of pounds in cuts to services and jobs.

Her replacement’s salary could be in the region of £160,000 but may receive a bonus on top of their guaranteed wage if annual targets are met.

The appointment of a new chief could take up to six months taking into account a recruitment campaign and allowing the successful candidate to give notice.

Meanwhile Ms Robinson will oversee the budget setting process and implement £50 million in cuts over the next two years. She has held a number of roles in local and central government, most recently as director for economy, skills and environment with the county council since 2002.

For the past three months, Ms Robinson has provided cover for the chief executive.

She said: “I am delighted to be offered this role and look forward to working with Mark Bee (council leader), the cabinet and councillors to meet their objectives.”

Cllr Bee added: “Lucy offers not only a wealth of experience but also the personal skills and drive to begin building foundations for the future.

“I look forward to working with her to deliver on our promises to the people of Suffolk.”