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Contenders for the post of chief executive of any of the 22 unitary councils in Wales will have to apply separately...
Contenders for the post of chief executive of any of the 22 unitary councils in Wales will have to apply separately to each of the shadow authorities and compete openly for the jobs, the Welsh Staff Commission confirmed last week.

This is in direct contrast to the position in Scotland. The Scottish Staff Commission is this month expected to circulate a single advertisement among existing council and new town employees.

The Association of Local Authority Chief Executives has opposed the decision, arguing that a net reduction of 23 posts on the same day ensured stiff competition.

In its new Circular 2/95 on heads of paid service, the Welsh commission requested that it be given copies of all adverts, together with supporting job descriptions.

This was not for approval, a letter from chairman Richard Lloyd Jones said, but 'to satisfy itself that they are fair and balanced'.

Appointments should be made by the end of July at the latest, the commission said.

'This allows for a maximum of 12 weeks, from the time of the elections, for the convening of meetings, deciding specifications, advertisement of the post, shortlisting and interviews.'

The circular also recommended that new authorities should have an independent 'appointment observer' to advise and ensure procedures are lawful.

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