Agenda item

Appointment of Interim Chief Executive

Report number CAB024 of the Leader of the Council.                  (Enclosure)




1.    That the Council approves the appointment of Aidan Rave as the interim Chief Executive including the duties of Head of Paid Service, the Electoral Registration Officer (in fulfilment of the requirement of s.8 of the Representation of People Act 1983), the  Returning Officer (under the requirements of S41 of the Local Government Act 1972) and the full range of duties set down in the Chief Executive’s Job Description set out in Appendix A of report number CAB024, together with the specific objectives set out for the first 12 months of tenure.


2.    That, due to the incumbent Chief Executive’s planned leave, the statutory duties described above are transferred to Aidan Rave with effect from 16th June 2017.


3.    That the proposed Employment Committee undertakes to review the performance of the Interim Chief Executive in terms of progress made against the specific objectives as set out in Appendix B of report number CAB024, and based on this, authorises any extension of the initial 12 month contract as appropriate, in consultation with the Leader.


The Leader of the Council proposed the appointment of Mr Aidan Rave as the new Chief Executive of the Council. In making his proposition he paid tribute to the previous Chief Executive’s 11 years of service to the Council, both in that role and as a Strategic Director. He thanked the panel that had assisted in putting together the recommendation and its shared desire to see the Council succeed, and the Executive Manager, Commercial who had supported the Panel throughout the appointment process. He felt that as the Council embarked on a new era, it was essential to have a Chief Executive that could initiate and deliver change to put the customer first with an appropriate track record of delivery and personal skills. Following short-listing and interviews, the panel recommended Mr Rave as the new Chief Executive; he had experience across the private, charitable and public sectors, including as an elected Member in local government. The proposition was seconded.


One Member spoke about the appointment process that was undertaken, noting specifically its speed and that in most instances Councils had to wait several months to make appointments at that level. He also added his disappointment that an in-house appointment was not being recommended – he felt that would provide greater continuity as a result of their knowledge of the organisation. He added that promoting from within would give other officers an opportunity to step up and increase their experience. He stated that the Council was being asked to endorse a candidate without being given any information. He suggested that the process should include a hustings-type event in the Council Chamber where Members had the opportunity to meet and question candidates, and vote for their preferred choice. As a result of his concerns he proposed that the Council defer making a decision to enable a review of the selection process.


A number of Members spoke in favour of the process that had been followed and how Leaders from each of the opposition groups had been included. It was reported that after a day of short-listing and a further day of interviews and presentations,  all of those that sat as part of the panel came to the same conclusion about which of the candidates to appoint. The suggestion was made that Members who were not part of a political group may not have had that information fed back to them but they could have approached one of the Group Leaders, who would have been able to share information as they had done with members of their own group.


Some concerns were also raised about the length of the interim period. The Leader confirmed this stating that a contract of a year with an option to extend would give the Council the opportunity to decide what sort of Chief Executive it wanted, undergo a thorough recruitment process and provide sufficient time for any successful candidate to give notice to their current employer.


Further tribute was also paid to the service of the outgoing Chief Executive.


A vote was taken on the proposition, which was carried.

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