Agenda item

Appointment of Proper Officers and Appointments Panel

Report of the Chief People Officer


The Cabinet considered a report of the Chief People Officer, that would also be considered at the meeting of Council on 17th January 2023, as urgent business, the reason for urgency being the need to enable a decision to be taken within the timescales required to ensure that appropriate provision was made for interim arrangements following the resignation of the Chief Executive.


The report sought approval to the implementation of an interim Chief Executive and a Proper Officer and to make provision for electoral arrangements, following the resignation of the Chief Executive. The report also proposed the establishment of an Appointments Panel in respect of recruitment to the post of Chief Executive to be filled following the resignation of Dr Reeves.


Following the resignation of the Chief Executive, it was necessary for interim Chief Executive arrangements to be put in place until the recruitment process for a permanent replacement had been successfully completed. In this regard, it was proposed that Barry Hastie (Chief Operating Officer) and Kirston Nelson (Chief Partnership Officer) both assume the role of joint Acting Chief Executive from 1st February 2023.


In addition, in accordance with the Representation of the People Act 1983, the City Council was required to appoint an Electoral Registration Officer to be responsible maintain a complete and accurate register of electors. A Returning Officer who was responsible for the conduct of local elections. Proper Officer and Counting Officer for any referendums held under the Local Government Act 2000 or any other legislation. An officer to exercise functions in relation to any referendum to change governance arrangements under the Local Government Act 2000 and to hold elections for an elected mayor. Currently, the posts were held by the Chief Executive.  It was proposed that the Chief Legal Officer (Julie Newman) was appointed to these roles with effect from 1st February 2023.


The recruitment and selection process for the Chief Executive "Head of the Paid Service" was detailed in the Council's Constitution, this included the convening of an Appointments Panel. To support Members in the recruitment process, an executive search company had been selected in line with appropriate procurement requirements. It was proposed that the Appointments Panel would be advised by the Chief People Officer and an external professional adviser from the supporting executive search company Gatenby Sanderson.


In accordance with the Constitution, Council would approve the appointment of the Chief Executive following the recommendation of the Appointments Panel.


RESOLVED that the Cabinet:


Recommends that the City Council, at their meeting on 17th January 2023:


1)  With effect from 1st February 2023, appoints Barry Hastie (Chief Operating Officer, S151 Officer) and Kirston Nelson (Chief Partnership Officer) as joint Acting Chief Executives for the Council until such time as a new Chief Executive has been recruited and is in post.


2)  Designates Barry Hastie (Chief Operating Officer) as Head of Paid Service under s.4 Local Government and Housing Act 1989.


3)  With effect from 1st February 2023, appoints Julie Newman (Chief Legal Officer) as the City Council's Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer.


4)  Delegates authority to the Chief Legal Officer to make appropriate changes to the Council's Constitution to reflect the above recommendations.


5)  Approves the establishment of the Appointments Panel for the appointment of the Chief Executive as detailed in Section 1.6 of the report.

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