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Shared chief deal to end

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Two West Country districts are due to end their shared chief executive deal.

Mark Williams is set to return full-time to East Devon DC after five years during which his role was split between East Devon and South Somerset DC.

The latter’s full council is this week due to approve ending the deal as well as agreeing a maximum compensation payment of £112,333 to East Devon.

Sharing had been due to run until September 2018. It began in 2010 after Phil Dolan took early retirement.

But a statement from South Somerset said the council had “matured to the point at which a further step change can be made, enabling [Mr] Williams to return to his role in East Devon”.

A report to the council proposed not to immediately replace Mr Williams but instead to “consider the various management options that are available”. Monitoring officer Ian Clarke will become acting chief executive.

Leader Ric Pallister (Lib Dem) said: “Part of Mark’s role over the past five years has been to improve the efficiency of the organisation, as well as to nurture senior level talent. This he has done and done well – and our recent award of Investors In People Gold accreditation is a visible demonstration of this.

“I would like to place on record that without the help of Mark and East Devon we might never have had the confidence to make this further step change and achieve the commensurate savings with the confidence we now have.”

East Devon leader Paul Diviani (Con) called the timing of South Somerset’s decision “a bit of a surprise”, but said council staff would be “delighted to have Mark back at the helm and fully focused on the needs of this organisation as we navigate difficult times ahead”.


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