Lincolnshire

Sacked or resigned? County Council CEO set to serve notice

Lincolnshire County Council’s Chief Executive is set to serve his notice before leaving the authority, the Local Democracy Service understands.

The authority confirmed on Monday that Keith Ireland, who has been in the post for just over four months, was leaving the post.

It is unclear whether he was fired, or if he voluntarily stepped down.

However a joint statement from Mr Ireland and authority leader Councillor Martin Hill, said “over the last few months, it has become clear that we do not share the same approach to a number of important issues that are facing the council.”

They said “parting of the ways is the best way forward for both of us.”

It is understood the council will soon be opening applications for a new Chief Executive – having recently had to advertise for roles including a new executive director for environment and economy.

When Mr Ireland was announced in May, his position came with a £170,000 salary, though his predecessor Tony McArdle, who had been in the chair for 12 years, had earned more than £206,000 per year.

He inherited a council with a number of issues, including a Serco contract beset by problems, a potential black-hole of £180 million in funding in three years’ time and preparations for Brexit.

In his time in the seat Mr Ireland has previously spoken about how devolved powers could bring decision making closer to local people, and declared that his “neck is on the line” over the extension of the Serco contract.