Search

Suffolk fails to appoint new chief despite £32k recruitment campaign

PUBLISHED: 12:20 12 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:59 13 September 2017

Colin Noble.

Colin Noble.

Suffolk County Council has failed to appoint a new chief executive after none of the four candidates on the shortlist were felt to be good enough by the authority’s political leaders.

Now there will be no permanent head for the authority until next spring at the earliest – interim chief Sue Cook will be at the helm for an extended period, including during the crucial budget-setting period.

The council has so far spent £32,000 with headhunters to find a new top official to replace Deborah Cadman who has left this month to take over at the helm of the new West Midlands Combined Authority.

It is understood there were four candidates, all men, in the final shortlist who were interviewed for the role on Monday. Last week the council insisted there was a “very strong field” of candidates.

A five-strong appointments panel, three Conservative, one Labour and one Liberal Democrat, interviewed them and none were considered strong enough. It is understood that the decision not to appoint was not unanimous.

Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble, who was on the panel, said: “We’ve conducted a thorough search for a new chief executive, but on this occasion we’ve not found the candidate we’re looking for.”

He said that while the recruitment process had cost £32,000, the authority would be saving more than that by not having to pay a chief executive’s salary for as much as six months.

“We have a good team to run things now. We do need a new permanent chief, but it has to be the right person and if we have to go through the process again then so be it.”

Labour group leader Sandra Gage said: “After spending £32,000 to recruit, spending many staff days and weeks preparation, with an encouraging and wide range of applicants coming forward, it should now be asked just what those who voted against appointing a chief executive are going to do now?

“A second attempt in the coming months offers no guarantee of a different outcome, and leaves Suffolk County Council with months of having to ‘make do’ with the corporate management team filling the gap.

“This decision leaves Suffolk County Council in a vulnerable position.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other news

Yesterday, 17:20

More than 2,000 hours when ambulance crews could have been responding to other calls in Norfolk were lost due to delays in handing patients over at A&E last month.

Yesterday, 17:12

Green Jack brewery’s Ripper has won a prestigious award on the opening day of the Campaign for Real Ale’s Great British Beer Festival Winter.

Yesterday, 15:31

Firefighters were on alert to battle a shed fire on a residential street - just before it spread to a nearby house.

Yesterday, 15:00

A teenager accused of aggravated vehicle taking has been given “one last chance” to have a pre-sentence report prepared on him by the probation service before he is sentenced next month.

Most Read

Mon, 09:34

A major high street unit which has been empty for more than a year will once again be welcoming customers through its doors.

Read more
Britten Centre
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The refurbishment of a former pet store devastated by fire in 2015 is due to be complete this year.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:08

Police are urging the public to stay vigilant and report suspicious behaviour after a spate of shed break-ins.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

A teenager accused of aggravated vehicle taking has been given “one last chance” to have a pre-sentence report prepared on him by the probation service before he is sentenced next month.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:12

Green Jack brewery’s Ripper has won a prestigious award on the opening day of the Campaign for Real Ale’s Great British Beer Festival Winter.

Read more
United Kingdom

Later in Life

cover

Click here to view
the Later in Life
supplement

View

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter