Gainsborough

West Lindsey councillor says no chief exec post saves £90k per year

A senior West Lindsey district councillor has said that scrapping the role of chief executive at the authority will save taxpayers £90,000 each year.

Councillor Giles McNeill, chair of the Governance and Audit Committee, said that the authority had to cut its cloth accordingly in a climate of central government funding reductions.

The council has had a chief executive ever since it was formed in the 1970s.

Manjeet Gill, the council’s most recent chief executive, stepped down in the summer of 2017, with the role remaining vacant.

Councillors agreed to remove the role at a meeting this January, with West Lindsey now following in the footsteps of neighbouring North Lincolnshire Council, which also has no chief executive.

Mark Sturgess, who was appointed executive director of operations, now holds the post of head of paid service.

Ian Knowles was appointed to the position of executive director of resources, and holds the statutory role of section 151 officer, making him responsible for the authority’s financial affairs.

Eve Fawcett-Moralee, executive director of economic and commercial growth, will lead the delivery of the council’s growth agenda.

Councillor McNeill said: “In the modern age where budgets are reduced and the amount of money we have to spend is constantly being reduced by central government, we had to best look at what fitted our needs.

“There wasn’t much justification for having a senior officer to act as ringmaster for three very talented individuals.”