Search is on for new head of councils

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THE first significant step towards the merger of Mid Suffolk and Babergh district councils came this week as the recruitment process for a new single chief executive began.

The search for a new head to lead Mid Suffolk and Babergh district councils started on January 31.

The post, which has been advertised with a salary of between £99,000 and £115,000, will be responsible for creating a single staffing structure across both district councils.

The new chief executive will also be tasked with the possible creation of a single council covering both central and south Suffolk.

A local poll will be held this year to determine public opinion on the possible merger and the decision is still reliant on the Secretary of States approval.

Should the merger go ahead, the new single council would save at least £1.8 million per year by 2014.

Cllr Tim Passmore, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “The new post will be the lynchpin for this ground-breaking project.

“Both councils have huge savings to make, while continuing to deliver high quality services to our local communities, and to achieve these we need to assemble a single management team, under a new single chief executive, straight away.”

Cllr Nick Ridley, chairman of Babergh District Council’s strategy committee, said: “This is a great opportunity for the right candidate to make a fundamental difference to the residents and businesses of mid and south Suffolk.

“A single chief executive with a single management team is an important step in achieving the savings and help us to reduce the impact of funding cuts on frontline services.”

The position will be advertised on both councils’ websites, in the Local Government Chronicle, in The Times and Sunday Times and on the Guardian and Times websites.

The current chief executives have both said they will not apply.