The hunt to find a new £200,000-a-year chief executive to helm Norfolk County Council has ended after an appointment to the role was made.

Tom McCabe, who had been serving as County Hall's head of paid service, has been selected for the revived role.

Council leader Kay Mason Billig said Mr McCabe had been selected after a panel interviewed him for the job.

Eastern Daily Press: Tom McCabe, the new chief executive of Norfolk County CouncilTom McCabe, the new chief executive of Norfolk County Council (Image: Supplied)

In announcing his appointment in a message to staff at the Conservative-controlled council, she said: "Following a rigorous interview process, I am pleased to inform you that we have appointed Tom McCabe as chief executive.

"Many of you will know Tom, as head of paid service and as executive director of community and environmental services since 2015.

"The chief executive role will include his current responsibilities as head of paid service.

"The panel which interviewed Tom believes that he has the skills and experience required to drive the county council forward and ensure that we deliver effective and efficient services for the people of Norfolk."

Eastern Daily Press: Norfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters in NorwichNorfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters in Norwich (Image: Mike Page)

Former leader Andrew Proctor had switched from a managing director to an executive leader arrangement, with Mr McCabe on £162,000-a-year head of paid service.

But one of Mrs Mason Billig's first acts on succeeding Mr Proctor as leader was to set the wheels in motion to bring back the chief executive role.

The council's employment committee recently agreed to change the authority's management structure and recruit a chief executive, with a salary of £197,000.

Eastern Daily Press: Kay Mason Billig, leader of Norfolk County CouncilKay Mason Billig, leader of Norfolk County Council (Image: Norfolk County Council)

At the meeting where that was agreed, Mrs Mason Billig said she did not feel the executive leader model was still fit for purpose for the council.

She said there had been "good reasons" for the change four years ago.

But she said she wanted to see more separation of the council's political role with the role of an officer to manage the day-to-day running of the authority.