Cornwall Council has confirmed that assistant chief executive Paul Masters will take over when Kevin Lavery leaves to become chief executive of Wellington City Council in New Zealand.
Mr Masters, left, has worked in local government in Cornwall for 32 years and will be interim chief executive for a minimum of six months, taking the authority beyond the May elections after which a decision will be made about a permanent appointment.
Leader Jim Currie (Con) said: “The next six months will be a very challenging time for the authority, with the election of a new council which will have to deal with the impact of further cuts in government funding. Paul’s long experience in local government in Cornwall and his ability to work with all kinds of groups and individuals and manage difficult situations calmly and sensitively makes him the ideal person for the job.”
Mr Lavery announced his decision to depart at the end of last year after a tumultuous few months at the authority which had seem former leader Alec Robertson (Con) defeated in a leadership challenge by Cllr Currie and the scaling back of a major joint venture with BT.
In an interview with LGC, Mr Lavery said he would not have looked for a job in UK local government because of the prevailing culture of criticism and ‘ridicule’ of public sector managers.