Hunt for new borough chief exec stepped up

IPSWICH: The hunt for a new permanent chief executive for the borough has been stepped up.

The council is expecting to pay up to �97,000-a-year for a replacement for James Hehir who died suddenly at the end of last year.

Russell Williams has been acting chief executive since Mr Hehir’s death and has impressed colleagues and councillors with his stewardship of the council during very difficult times.

But council leader Liz Harsant said it was felt necessary to have an open application process to ensure the council got the best possible chief to steer it through potentially difficult times.

She said: “We are certainly expecting Russell to apply but we have to have a fully open appointment.”

The appointment will be made by a panel of five councillors – two Conservatives, two from the Labour group and one Liberal Democrat. They will be advised by a representative from the Society Of Local Authorities’ Chief Executives (SOLACE).

The job is being advertised with a maximum salary of �97,000 – which will mean that Ipswich’s chief will have the lowest salary of any local authority chief in Suffolk.

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Mrs Harsant said: “The government has made it clear that local authorities have a responsibility not to pay over the odd and we feel this is fair figure.”

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