David White, the current chief executive of Norfolk County Council.

Salary slash for top job at Norfolk County Council

By Dan Grimmer
Thursday, January 10, 2013
6.30 AM

The new top officer at Norfolk County Council will be known as a managing director, with a basic salary of up to £40,000 a year less than the current chief executive.

As part of a council review ordered by the controlling Conservative cabinet, chief executive David White, who is on a basic annual salary of £205,322 plus £31,800 pension contributions annually, has recommended that he leaves the authority in April.

He said it had become “crystal clear” he lacked the skills the authority needed to become more commercially minded in an environment where government grants were dwindling and councils were expected to find ways to generate their own income.

On Monday, Norfolk county councillors will be asked to agree the post of chief executive in its current format should be made redundant, with effect from April 6, 2013.

If a report drawn up by officers is approved, that will see the chief executive post replaced with a new managing director role – with a salary scale from £165,000 to £180,000.

That report, drawn up by head of human resources Anne Gibson and head of law Victoria McNeill, states that: “Overall, a clear downward shift is taking place in the market for senior leadership roles, and public perception of value for money in the current climate is playing a strong part in that.”

They recommend a starting basic salary of £165,000, with progression up to £180,000 subject to “good performance against specified annual objectives”.

The cost of Mr White’s redundancy would be £35,439.75, which equates to nine weeks pay and which has been calculated in accordance with the county council’s redundancy policy.

Mr White would also get £44,752.79 paid immediately into his pension and officers say the costs would be “offset by any reduction in the present remuneration for the role”.

At Monday’s meeting of the full council, members will also be asked to put in place the arrangements for recruiting a new managing director.

That is likely to see consultants brought in to come up with a list of candidates, aiming to get the new managing director in place following the May elections.

dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk