Agenda and minutes
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Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bhatti, Burbage, Carroll, Da Costa, Diment, Hollingsworth, Lenton, Luxton, Pryer, Rankin, S Rayner, Richards, Sharma, Shelim, Smith, Story, Targowska and Yong.
To receive any declarations of interest
To consider the above report
Members considered approval to appoint to the statutory role of Head of Paid Service on an interim basis pending recruitment and appointment of a permanent Managing Director, and the statutory posts of Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer.
Councillor Dudley introduced the report, which was necessary as it was not possible to make the appointments other than by approval at Full Council. The report related to the roles of Head of Paid Service, Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer following the former Managing Director stepping back from day to day operations. Councillor Dudley placed on record his thanks on behalf of all Members, to Alison Alexander for all her work in the approximately six years she was at the borough. She had done an excellent job and in particular she had been instrumental in the transformation programme at the council. However the baton had now been passed in an acting capacity to Russell O’Keefe, who would receive an acting up allowance of £12,000 per annum. Members noted that Mr O’Keefe was not present at the meeting as he would have had a pecuniary interest and therefore the Executive Director – Communities was the senior officer present at the meeting.
Councillor Dudley explained that David Scott was proposed as the Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer, both roles he had previously undertaken very professionally. His first outing in the new role would be the Datchet by-election on 22 November 2018. Members noted that the process for the recruitment of a new permanent Managing Director was well underway. Solace, the consultants appointed, had confirmed that half a dozen high-quality candidates had already come forward. Adverts would be placed in the MJ and Sunday Times later in the week. A thorough exercise would take place including a series of interviews. Councillor Dudley stated that he would ensure Members, in particular the Leader of the Opposition, would be kept informed of progress.
Councillor Brimacombe commented that he had been privileged to be on the interview panel when Alison Alexander applied for the post of Managing Director. She had promised to work diligently, using all her considerable skills to implement the policies of the Administration. He had doubts about the wisdom and benefits of some of those policies and the method of their implementation but there was certainly no doubt in his mind that the Managing Director had been a faithful servant of the Cabinet. She had done what had been asked of her by those who had the authority to instruct her.
He had therefore been surprised a few months previously when he had been informed, just prior to an Employment Panel meeting, that the Cabinet no longer considered Alison Alexander to be the best person to continue as Managing Directorin the coming years. No explanation was given at that Panel meeting and no alternative style of preferred management was offered. However it was made clear that there was no crisis and that the plan was for Alison to provide continuity until May ... view the full minutes text for item 63.