After withdrawing its offer to Valerie Lemmie, councillors decided to lie low for a few weeks before assessing their options (LGC, 21 December 2001).
It is believed they have used this time to have informal talks with four of the short-listed candidates before deciding on their strategy. The council has the option of either appointing someone from the original short-list, if they are agreeable, or re-advertising the post. The latter is an expensive option and would be harder to justify.
Bob Kerslake, chief executive of Sheffield City Council, and Colin Sinclair, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, were both on the short-list along with two international candidates.