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Separate CEO plans for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Councils are unveiled as jobs are advertised

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The search for separate chief executives for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council will begin from next week.

Proposals to seek separate chief executives were unanimously agreed at both Cambridgeshire’s Staffing and Appeals committee on Tuesday (24) and Peterborough’s Employment Committee on Thursday (26).

Gillian Beasley announced plans to retire from a role leading both authorities earlier this year – and at the point of her retirement the 2016 sharing agreement automatically comes to an end. This being the case the leaders of both councils had carefully considered the complex challenges faced by the two different authorities.

Gillian Beasley has announced she is retiring from her joint role - now councils have decided to have their own CEOs.
Gillian Beasley has announced she is retiring from her joint role - now councils have decided to have their own CEOs.

These challenges include recovery of services, supporting the recovery of the local economy, continued response to Covid-19, support to the vaccination programme, and the significant financial pressure on each council’s budgets

Their considerations have also been informed by both councils’ recent LGA Peer Challenges – set to be published next month – which has highlighted that post pandemic the chief executive role may be too complex to be shared.

“The challenges facing Cambridgeshire following the pandemic are enormous. With significant uncertainty surrounding demand for social care and still no news from central government for its long term funding, the new joint administration are clear that we need a chief executive who will be 100 per cent focused on Cambridgeshire," said Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council.

“Gillian Beasley has done an incredible job for both councils over the past five years, but to ask someone new to take on such a huge role at a this time seemed unwise. We have big ambitions for Cambridgeshire and we need the capacity of our own chief executive to make sure we are meeting those ambitions.”

Advertisements for both roles will be published from next week. Interviews will be held in October/November before appointments go to both Full Council meetings for ratification.

The leaders are also still considering the future of other shared roles and arrangements and these will be subject to more detailed discussion over the coming months. Where these services are clearly helping to deliver strong outcomes for residents and communities, or resilience for the councils, shared services will continue to be an option.

The salary scale for the Cambridgeshire County Council role is £192,264 - £213,225 and for the Peterborough City Council role £166,846 - £203,923.

Gillian Beasley’s current salary of £173,596k is on the Peterborough salary scale which she agreed she would continue when both councils decided to share the role. It is split 50/50 between the two authorities. She has taken no pay inflation uplifts since 2017.

Salary scales for senior officers in local government are set by members based on national comparisons (Hay scale), and reflect the size and complexity of the organisation, the area covered and the size of the authorities' staffing complement and budgets for which the CEX is ultimately responsible.

Cambridgeshire employs a total of 4,300 staff (non schools )and has a gross annual budget of £729m

Peterborough employs a total of 1,299 staff (non schools) and has a gross annual budget of £423m

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