St Helens Council will fork out £350,000 to recruit three high-flying executives

The council is offering to pay a huge sum of money to find their man  or woman  with the new chief executive bagging between 148,000 to 160,000.
The council is offering to pay a huge sum of money to find their man or woman with the new chief executive bagging between 148,000 to 160,000.

St Helens Council has set about recruiting a team of big game players to help lead the authority into an “exciting” new era.

This week councillors agreed to begin the recruitment process for the three most senior roles within the authority.

Between them, the council is looking to fork out more than £350,000 to secure the talents of three high-flying executives.

As part of the recruitment process, the council has revealed what will be expected from the new management team, as well as what kind of salary they can expect to command.

The council’s leadership has bought itself a little time to look for a new chief executive following the shock departure of Mike Palin last month.

Harry Catherall, the former chief executive of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, will step in as interim chief executive and is expected to stay with the council for six months, with a permanent replacement hopefully secured.

The council is offering to pay a huge sum of money to find their man – or woman – with the new chief executive bagging between £148,000 to £160,000.

The council’s job description says his or her role will be to provide overall day to day management of the council, staff and to work with key partners.

They will support the council leader in developing the strategic policy direction of the council and will support the work of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, of which St Helens is a member.

Next up, the council wants a new strategic director of place services, a role currently filled by Paul Sanderson.

Mr Sanderson, who is also the deputy chief executive of the council, is due to retire later this year but has agreed to stay on during this transition period.

As a member of the strategic management team, Mr Sanderson’s replacement will be tasked with assisting in the development of the 2020 vision for the council by integrating internal resources and utilising external partner relationships, the job description says.

They will be required to manage all activities within place services, such as planning and building control, housing, the library and arts services, waste and recycling services and parks.

The new place services director will also have overall responsibility for the strategic management and planning of the business and service of the department.

The salary will be between £111,537 to £119,142.

Lastly, the council is looking for a permanent assistant chief executive following the departure of Keith Ireland.

Mr Ireland was a consultant who joined the council in April on an interim basis following recommendations from the Local Government Association.

During his short spell with the authority, Mr Ireland – who briefly held a role as Lincolnshire County Council chief executive last year – developed the ‘One Council’ modernisation programme.

The new candidate will be tasked with actually delivering on the ambitious plans.

“This is a strategically important and high-profile role working collaboratively with senior leaders and other stakeholders to develop and embed a change and improvement culture across the organisation and deliver the One Council modernisation programme,” the job description says.

It adds that the new assistant chief executive will play a “key role in the collective leadership of the council”, providing the “constructive leadership needed to create the conditions for organisational success”.

Whoever gets the nod will take home a salary between £98,247 to £100,833.

Addressing the appointments committee on Wednesday, St Helens Council leader David Baines said: “We’re in this position here today because Mike Palin left his position as chief executive after four years.

“I’m grateful to Mike for his four years of service to the council and the borough and I’m sure like everyone here wish him well for the future.

“Our interim assistant chief executive Keith Ireland has also left us as colleagues will know after helping set in motion the One Council modernisation programme to which we do remain fully committed as a council and myself as a leader, which brings us here today.

“These changes, I think it’s important they’re seen as an opportunity for us and a chance for a fresh start for the council, for the borough.

“It’s an opportunity for us to reflect and reassess our priorities and our vision for the borough to build on the many things we do do well, and we do do a lot of things well.

“And also, to take an honest, fresh look at where we can improve, which is something we should always strive to do.”