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Essex chief role to be filled on rota basis for up to year

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Essex CC has warned that it could take up to a year to appoint a new chief executive and has drawn up a plan which will see its statutory head of paid service role filled on a rotational basis by strategic directors.

Papers that went before a meeting of the full council on Tuesday said the recruitment process to find a successor for Joanna Killian would “take some time and the council will, therefore, be without a permanent chief executive”.

Ms Killian (pictured) leaves the county on Sunday after nine years as chief executive to join KPMG as a partner in the firm’s UK Government and Public Services Practice.

Instead of appointing an interim chief executive, members agreed the statutory head of paid service role should, according to the papers, “be discharged by the council’s current executive directors on a rotating basis. A county council spokeswoman confirmed to LGC the recommendation had been passed.

From Monday, executive director of corporate services Margaret Lee will take on the role until 31 August.

Dave Hill, executive director for people commissioning, will act as her deputy before taking the lead between 1 September and 30 November.

During that time, executive director for strategy, transformation and commissioning support Keir Lynch will act as deputy and then take over from Mr Hill on 1 December to 29 February 2016.

Finally, executive director for place commissioning Sonia Davidson-Grant will become the head of paid service between 1 March and 31 May 2016 having acted as deputy to Mr Lynch during his spell in charge. Ms Lee will act as Ms Davidson-Grant’s deputy should a permanent chief executive not be in place by then.

The council papers said: “It should be noted that a new chief executive should be in post by the end of this year so these arrangements may not need to run until May 2016. The arrangement will remain in place for so long as it is required i.e. until such a time as the new postholder takes up their position.”

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