Norfolk County Council announces proposed new interim manager

David White at the standards committee hearing at County Hall.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

David White at the standards committee hearing at County Hall.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Simon Finlay

Norfolk County Council has announced a proposed new interim manager to take the helm following the departure of the authority's most senior officer.

Chief executive David White will leave on April 6, when his role becomes redundant to be replaced by the renamed position of managing director.

Until a permanent appointment is made in May, the authority's head of human resources and organisational development, Anne Gibson, has been recommended as acting managing director.

Ms Gibson, who joined Norfolk County Council as head of personnel in 2002, said: 'It is an absolute privilege to be recommended for this role. It is vitally important that the county council is not diverted and pushes forward with its transformation programme whilst continuing to deliver high quality public services. This is a challenge I would relish.'

Departing chief executive Mr White ruled himself out of the revised role, which he said required 'a level of commercial skill and experience not required from my current post and that I simply do not have.'


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During the recent standards hearing into the conduct of former leader Derrick Murphy, it emerged that Mr White had secretly recorded the councillor during questioning over an email sent to the BBC by conservative political assistant Kevin Vaughan.

Council leader Bill Borrett will recommend Ms Gibson be appointed to the temporary role when the full council meets on 25 March.

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His report recommends the appointment at a salary of £160,000, the lowest of the managing director's pay scale.

Mr Borrett said: 'The process of recruiting a managing director is now under way but we need a proven performer to step in in the interim. Anne is already our programme lead on the council-wide Enterprising Norfolk initiative and is therefore very well placed to temporarily step into the role. We did consider recruiting somebody from outside the organisation, but felt this did not offer good value for money nor offer the continuity we require under our broader transformation programme.'

Cliff Jordan, the council's cabinet member for efficiency, said: 'It is important that there is continuity during the interim period to enable the council to continue to deliver its many services and to move forward with its transformation programme. It (the appointment) would also allow crucial continuity for the council leading up to the local elections in early May and a new administration taking office.'

Ms Gibson was president of the Public Sector People Managers' Association for 2011/12 and was made honorary secretary in 2012.

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