Council chief quits after seven months

By Richard SmithA COUNCIL spent almost £20,000 recruiting a new chief executive - who has decided to quit after seven months in the job.Suffolk Coastal District Council is now faced with spending tens of thousands of pounds again to find a replacement chief executive.

By Richard Smith

A COUNCIL spent almost £20,000 recruiting a new chief executive - who has decided to quit after seven months in the job.

Suffolk Coastal District Council is now faced with spending tens of thousands of pounds again to find a replacement chief executive.

Jan Ormondroyd started a five-year contract at Suffolk Coastal District Council in September, but will leave in July to become deputy chief executive at Hull City Council.


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Tom Griffin was council chief executive for 12 years until he took early retirement in 2003 at a time when it was making job cuts and saving money.

The council then recruited James Gravenor as an interim chief executive while it searched for a permanent replacement.

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Mrs Ormondroyd was appointed last May and took up her job in September, and the council will now have to consider whether to appoint another interim chief executive when she leaves in the summer.

The cost of recruiting Mrs Ormondroyd was £10,752 for advertising, £5,733 for help in the recruitment process from the East of England Regional Assembly and £2,500 miscellaneous costs including expenses for candidates, hire of interview room and a promotional recruitment booklet.

Suffolk Coastal District Council will now have to spend a similar amount in finding a replacement.

Ray Herring, council leader, said: “I have no doubts that our decision to appoint Jan as our chief executive was the right one and I am disappointed that we are going to lose her very valuable contribution after such a short time here. I am sure that both officers and members would wish her stay with us had been longer.

“However, attractive employment opportunities do arise for high-calibre staff and Hull City Council has also recognised Jan's qualities by offering her a 'not to be missed' senior post.

“Hull is not only a much larger local authority with responsibility for all the city's services, but it is also officially much in need of improvement and so offers major challenges that I am sure Jan can help address.

“We wanted an individual who could inspire, lead and deliver while building on the good work already under way at the council.

“Jan met those needs and I have enjoyed working in partnership with her, but now we will have to look ahead to appointing a replacement, which after Jan will not be an easy task.”

Mrs Ormondroyd said she would be sad to leave Suffolk Coastal District Council at a time when it was beginning to make significant inroads into creating a high-performance culture.

“Suffolk Coastal is fortunate to have so many enthusiastic, committed and talented staff,” she added.

“Working at Hull as the deputy chief executive promises to be an even more challenging and, hopefully, rewarding task.

“Hull has been highlighted as being in need of significant improvements and I hope to play a major part in helping turn that council around.”

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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