Council to name Stella Manzie as Interim CEO
Stella Manzie is set to be appointed Interim Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council.
Ms Manzie has been chief executive at four major local authorities, was appointed to HM Treasury to contribute expertise about public service delivery and is a former senior civil servant with the Scottish Government.
Her appointment is expected to be confirmed at a meeting of the full city council on April 4. The choice of new interim council boss had been rumoured in the Local Government Chronicle for the last two weeks.
The interim appointment follows the early retirement of Mark Rogers, exclusively revealed by Chamberlain Files.
Ms Manzie will remain in post until the council appoints a permanent Chief Executive. Chamberlain Files understands that recruitment for the full time post will start shortly and is likely to take at least six months.
Ms Manzie is a former chief executive of Coventry City Council and Barking and Dagenham Council, and was until last year Commissioner Managing Director of Rotherham MBC.
She has also been Director General Finance and Corporate Services, then Justice and Communities for the Scottish Government.
The appointment was recommended by a Birmingham City Council cross-party elected members’ appointments panel.
Councillor John Clancy, the leader of Birmingham City Council, said:
This is a crucial appointment and I am delighted with the progress we have made. Stella Manzie has a long and successful record of achievement at the top of local and national government.
Stella’s career demonstrates an impressive record of driving transformation and change in four local authorities, as well as holding senior civil service positions with the Scottish Government.
I am confident, subject to approval by the city council on April 4, that Stella will provide strong leadership as we embark on the search for a permanent Chief Executive.
With other changes to senior management now in place, it is clear Birmingham City Council has an exceptionally strong team of officers to take us forward on the next stage of our improvement journey.
It is understood that Ms Manzie’s appointment has been enthusiastically welcomed by the Department for Local Government and Communities and the Local Government Association. Chamberlain Files sources indicate SOLACE, the local authority chief executive’s organisation of which Mr Rogers was past president, was not involved.
The Conservative group welcomed the proposed appointment.
Leader of the Conservative Group Cllr Robert Alden said:
At a time when the Labour administration has been rudderless losing it’s Chief Executive, a cabinet member resigning and even sacking a by-election candidate, it is very welcome that Stella, with an excellent track record of having to turn around failing Labour Councils, is set to become our new Interim Chief Executive.
She has previously took over the failing Labour run Coventry Council and with the help of a change of administration leading to a Conservative Council following all out elections (in 2004), transformed it to one of the fastest improving Councils in the Country.
Looking ahead Cllr Alden added:
“Clearly Stella will face a tough task trying to deliver the savings targets that the Labour administration had previously given up on and trying to clear the directorate overspends of £68M that Labour have built up, while also trying to transform and modernise the Councils services. However her track record shows she is the right person to do the job in Birmingham.
Angela Probert will continue in her role as acting Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service, until Ms Manzie’s appointment is ratified at Full Council. Chamberlain Files understands Ms Probert did not apply for the Interim role.
The council leadership is likely to take the view that they have acted quickly in resolving issues with the management of the organisation and securing a highly respected interim CEO relatively soon after the departure of Mr Rogers.
The council has made further announcements about its top team of officers:
Waheed Nazir, currently Acting Strategic Director Economy has been appointed Corporate Director Economy, while Jacqui Kennedy, currently Acting Strategic Director Place has been appointed Corporate Director Place.
With effect from March 31, Peter Hay, currently Strategic Director of People will be moving to “alternative responsibilities” and will leave Birmingham City Council. Mr Hay’s post included responsibility for both Adult and Children Services.
As a result of recommendations from the Local Government Association (LGA), it has been confirmed that Graeme Betts is to be engaged on an interim basis as the Corporate Director Adults and Health.
It is anticipated that Mr Betts will be in post for at least six months, depending on the outcome of a permanent recruitment exercise. He is currently Interim Managing Director Communities, Health and Adult Social Care, Buckinghamshire County Council.
There have been no announcements from the Council on the future of the finance director, with Jon Warlow understood to be on sick leave, or on children and families where Colin Diamond had been expected to take up the top role following changes to the People directorate.
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