The search has begun to fill one of the most senior officer posts at Norfolk County Council, with a salary of up to £163,000, plus £10,000 to relocate.

Conservative-controlled County Hall needs to find a new executive director of adult social services, after James Bullion's temporary switch to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was made permanent.

Mr Bullion, who had headed up the adult social care department since 2017, was seconded to the CQC last year as interim chief inspector of adult social care and integrated care.

James BullionJames Bullion (Image: Norfolk County Council)

But Mr Bullion, who was made a CBE for services to social care in this year's New Year Honours, has now taken up that post permanently.

Senior officer Debbie Bartlett has been the council's interim adult social services executive director for the past year, but the county council is now advertising for a permanent replacement.

Norfolk County Council's County Hall headquartersNorfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters (Image: Mike Page)

Ironically, it comes at a time when Mr Bullion's new employers are due to carry out an inspection of his old department.

Adult social services is one of the council's biggest-spending departments, with a £667m budget to provide services for some of the county's most vulnerable people.

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

Council leader Kay Mason Billig said: "We need an executive director of adult social services who is politically astute, has experience and a track record of success. 

"We serve a large and diverse county, so we're looking for someone with vision, who will seize this opportunity and work together with partners to integrate and align our strategies so that we can successfully deliver our aims for Norfolk and our residents."

Tom McCabeTom McCabe (Image: Supplied)

Tom McCabe, the council's chief executive officer, said: "Norfolk is a fantastic county in which to work, live and grow old, but we know we also face challenges.

"Our goal is to offer a service that our residents deserve and, by working together with our partners and with our amazing and dedicated adult social services colleagues, we know that we will achieve this."

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As well as £10,000 in relocation expenses, the council is offering 35 days of holiday.