Council takes on £1,025 a day stand-in for top boss
CHESHIRE East has used ‘urgency procedures’ to appoint an external consultant on £1,025 a day to take on some of the duties of one of its top bosses while an investigation into officer conduct is underway.
The council’s staffing committee has agreed to put revised management arrangements in place following the suspension of chief executive Mike Suarez. Jan Willis will take on the role as interim section 151 officer so chief operating officer Peter Bates ‘can focus on other responsibilities within his remit’.
And deputy monitoring officer Daniel Dickinson has been appointed interim monitoring officer and head of legal services to cover an absence.
This means all three of the council’s statutory officers’ duties are being done by other staff members, with Kath O’Dwyer appointed acting chief executive while an independent investigation into concerns about officer conduct is undertaken.
Ms O’Dwyer made the new appointments together at a meeting of the staffing committee following a staffing report from Human Resources.
It read: “A requirement to introduce immediate interim arrangements for the role of statutory monitoring officer and section 151 officer has recently arisen. Given the importance of these statutory roles... urgency procedures were applied.”
The report stated that the £1,025 daily rate of the interim section 151 officer will eventually be reduced to a monthly salary of £10,626. It added that an interim monitoring officer is required ‘for the duration of the director of legal services’ absence from work with a pro-rata monthly salary of £2,621.
A council spokesperson said the investigation into officer conduct is ongoing.
He said: “Following the investigation and disciplinary committee and the interim appointment of acting chief executive, the acting chief executive has taken the decision to put revised management arrangements in place to ensure that Cheshire East Council can continue to deliver services effectively.
“Regarding the work of the investigation and disciplinary committee, there is nothing further to add at this time. However, should circumstances change we will of course update residents, councillors and staff.”
Kath O’Dwyer has been appointed temporary chief executive of Cheshire East Council