New joint council chief will earn up to £115,000

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THE joint chief executive of St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council will receive an annual salary in the region of £105,000-£115,000.

A further £8,200 will be paid to the councils’ chosen recruitment consultant to provide advice, planning and management of a campaign to attract suitable candidates.

The figures received the support of St Edmundsbury’s full council on Tuesday, following earlier approval by Forest Heath.

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “The new post will be significantly different from the jobs being carried out by the current chief executives – either or both may become redundant.”

He told members the salary band was comparable with others nationwide and was necessary to get ‘the best person’ for the job.

Cllr David Nettleton said he thought a £91,000 salary was more appropriate. “We’re working on the general assumption that if we pay a higher salary we’ll get a better chief executive but that doesn’t always apply,” he said.

“It’s funny money for this day and age,” agreed Cllr Trevor Beckwith.

Assuring members the higher band was necessary, Cllr Griffiths said: “I’m very keen to get the best possible person and the best possible service for the best possible price.”

Cllr Bob Cockle asked why the services of a recruitment consultant were needed, to which Cllr Griffiths said the councils’ existing human resource staff were unlikely to have ‘relevant experience’ for the ‘enormous undertaking’ the process would require, internally and externally.

The recruitment process will be handled by a joint appointments committee, with three members from each council, but other councillors will be able to assist, if interested.

Cllr Cockle voiced concerns over the set up of the committee because St Edmundsbury has so many more residents but Cllr Griffiths said ‘to quibble over the representation wouldn’t be in the spirit of moving forward with Forest Heath’.