The search to fill one of the top jobs in local government has taken a major step forward.
Job ads advertising the post of chief executive at Newcastle City Council will appear in national and specialist press in the next few weeks.
A shortlist of candidates will be invited for interview and testing, and the announcement of a new chief executive is expected by early December.
The recruitment follows the departure of Barry Rowland who left the council by mutual agreement last month. Ewen Weir, who was the council's Executive Director of Adult and Culture Services, was appointed acting chief executive.
The job - considered to be one of the most high profile in local government - is likely to pay a reduced salary of £150,000 - in keeping with the council’s plans to reduce the pay gap between the highest and lowest paid staff in the council.
The appointment comes at a time when Newcastle is ideally placed to benefit when the economic upturn happens - having signed an ambitious City Deal with Government worth £1billion over 25 years, creating up to 13,000 jobs.
The decision to press ahead with the recruitment process follows a meeting of the council’s Constitutional Committee today (Tues).
Leader of Newcastle City Council, Coun Nick Forbes, said: “Newcastle is a confident city with big ambitions for the future, but like all cities in this age of austerity it is facing some huge challenges which will force us to do things differently.
“We are looking for a chief executive who is a real innovator, someone who can do a lot with a little, and command the respect and confidence of partners and the business community.
“By intending to reduce the salary by £15,000 to £150,000 we are sending a clear message that we want someone who is driven not by financial reward but a sense of fairness that we want to roll out across the city.
“He or she will set the example, and this in turn will hopefully be a model for others to follow as we try to create a city that is at ease with itself and not tainted by gaping inequality.”
The council will handle the recruitment itself and not employ consultants, saving thousands of pounds in the process. It will set up an in-house micro-site to provide candidates with more information.
Although the council has to save £90m over the next three years, it remains ambitious and confident of Newcastle’s future.
Page last updated: 5 September, 2012