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Election of a Chair
To elect a Chair of the Appointments Committee.
Councillor Hargreaves proposed that Councillor Lodge be elected Chair of the Appointments Committee. This was seconded by Councillor Criscione.
AGREED to appoint Councillor Lodge as the Chair of the Appointments Committee.
Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Pavitt.
Apologies for lateness from Councillor Lees and Councillor Merifield.
There were no declarations of interest.
Exclusion of public and press
Consideration of reports containing exempt information within the meaning of section 100I and paragraph 1 part 1 Schedule 12A Local Government Act 1972.
AGREED that under section 1001 of the Local Government Act 1972 the public be excluded for the following items of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
Appointment of Assistant Director Governance and Legal
To consider a report on the Appointment of Assistant Director Governance and Legal.
The HR Manager presented a report which outlined the processes for recruiting and appointing to the Assistant Director for Governance and Legal.
In response to members questions, although the Council will be going through a period of change, the HR Manager explained that officers had decided to proceed with recruiting to this post on the basis that this role is unlikely to be significantly impacted and due to the position having been vacant for some time with the cost implications of using an interim. It was confirmed that a full application would be required to be submitted through the Council’s online recruitment system and, to date, one application had been received. The post would take on the line management responsibilities which had fallen under the previous postholder. Candidates would be made aware of the Uttlesford Moving Forward project.
Members asked whether the salary was competitive and the HR Manager clarified that the post would be on the same salary band as all Assistant Directors, and that the salary could be reviewed in the event that the Council were unable to recruit.
AGREED That the processes for recruiting and appointing to the Assistant Director for Governance and Legal be approved.
Councillor Merifield arrived at 15:11 and Councillor Lees arrived at 15:13
Appointment of Head of Paid Service
To consider the Appointment of Head of Paid Services (verbal).
The Chair introduced the item and explained that they had formed the view that candidate X, who had already been recruited to the Council to lead on a transformation project, was the appropriate candidate to take on the role of interim Chief Executive. They said that they believed that a move to an interim Chief Executive seemed the appropriate option, given the current Chief Executive’s request to be released early and other senior members of staff being unable to act up due to the additional work generated from dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and other council priorities.
It was noted that if the Committee chose to recommend the appointment of another candidate, then officers would have to cancel candidate X’s existing contract with the Council.
Members discussed the candidate and debated the process for implementing them into post, as well as the implications for choosing a different candidate. It was confirmed that, should the Appointment Committee choose to appoint the candidate, then a decision through Extraordinary Council Meeting would be required on 10th June. The Committee would have an opportunity to meet with the candidate via Zoom before the Council meeting.
Members requested that further time be given to review all the CVs which had been circulated to the committee but agreed to recommend the appointment in principle.
The Committee then briefly discussed arrangements for recruiting and appointing a permanent Chief Executive.
RESOLVED to recommend to Council that:
Candidate X be appointed as interim Chief Executive, subject to no majority of objections received from the Appointment Committee by close of business on 1st June.
The meeting ended at 15:55
Following the meeting, it was noted that Councillor Caton indicated a preference for another candidate, based on his scoring of the CV.