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Council top jobs search gets off the ground at last

Council top jobs search gets off the ground at last

🕔31.Jul 2015

Advertisements for senior staff positions at Birmingham city council have finally been placed almost eight months after the authority was told to strengthen its management team, reports Paul Dale.

The failure to take on additional staff, despite promises from the council leadership that a recruitment process would be put in place, was sharply criticised earlier this month by the independent improvement panel established to push through the Kerslake Review reforms.

Panel chair John Crabtree wrote to Communities Secretary Greg Clark advising him that one of Kerslake’s central recommendations, strengthening senior management to improve strategic capacity and give support to chief executive Mark Rogers, had not been delivered even though council leader Sir Albert Bore promised the matter would be dealt with promptly.

Mr Crabtree wrote on July 20:

The panel received assurances from the leader that this would be addressed urgently. Both opposition leaders also gave their support to boosting senior management capacity, including specific support to the chief executive.

However three months later the roles had still not been advertised. Since the public meeting at which the panel raised this issue with the leader of the council yet again, I have been advised that the new senior strategic posts will be advertised this month.

Sir Albert appears to have moved quickly since the letter was published.

Yesterday the council announced it was starting the first phase of recruitment for senior roles.
The positions are for two assistant chief executives on two-year fixed term contracts on salaries of £82,000-£91,000 and a strategic director for change and corporate services, £138,000-£153,000.

The council is also seeking to appoint an assistant director for business change on £78,000-£87,000 and a new director for employment and skills on £90,882-£100,980, a post that is being jointly funded with Solihull Council and will support both councils and the proposed West Midlands combined authority.

It is anticipated that the appointments will be made by early October and the successful applicants will take up their posts no later than early 2016.

Cllr Ian Ward, deputy leader of Birmingham city council, said:

We have made it clear we will do everything necessary to deliver the organisational change that is required to ensure that the council functions as effectively as possible for the citizens it serves. We are doing this at the pace needed to address speedily the challenges the council faces and to ensure we make the right decisions.

These roles will make a significant contribution towards making the changes we need to be ready to tackle the challenges of the future.

The recruitment searches will be agency-led to provide the expertise needed to present the council with the strongest candidates. And, whilst phasing the new appointments, there will be a single recruitment campaign strategy to ensure the council achieves the best cost with the greatest likelihood of success, a council spokesman said.

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