Agenda Item No. 3


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Council - 25 March 2015


Report of the Leader


Appointment of Managing Director


Purpose of the Report

1.         To ratify the recommendation of the Senior Management Appointment Committee in respect of the person to be appointed to the post of Managing Director (including Head of Paid Service).

2.         To seek approval for plans to cover any potential delay in the start date of the new Managing Director, if necessary.


1.         That (if appropriate) Council approve the appointment to the post of Managing Director and designate that individual as Head of Paid Service.   Such appointment to commence on a date to be agreed by Council.

2.         That Council approve the interim arrangements, as set out in this report, should there be a delay in securing with effect from 1 May 2015 an appointment of the Managing Director (including Head of Paid Service).

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To appoint the Managing Director and to comply with the fact that the designation of the Head of Paid Service is a statutory mandatory Council function as prescribed in the Constitution.

2.         To ensure appropriate arrangements are in place so that there is a Head of Paid Service in post from the 1st May 2015.


3.         Members will be aware of ongoing arrangements to recruit to the role of Managing Director as a result of the planned retirement of the present post holder on 30 April 2015.

4.         Such arrangements are being progressed under the auspices of the Senior Management Appointment Committee and in accordance with the decision of Council on the 17 December 2014

5.         As part of the recruitment arrangements a number of shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by the Senior Management Appointment Committee on the 24 March 2015 and it is hoped that a successful candidate will be recommended.

6.         Based on the above, this meeting is convened to consider ratifying an appointment of a Managing Director (including responsibilities as Head of Paid Service), if a recommendation is forthcoming.

7.         If an internal appointment is made then there will be no gap in the undertaking of Head of Paid Service responsibilities as it will be expected that the successful candidate will commence such duties on 1st May 2015.

8.         If an external appointment is made then there will potentially be a gap depending on the length of the successful candidate’s notice period.

9.         If the Senior Management Appointment Committee is not able to identify a successful candidate then the recruitment process will need to be repeated and, as such there will be a longer period when there will be no substantive Head of Paid Service from 1st May 2015 due to the retirement of the current Managing Director.

10.      This report therefore also proposes plans to mitigate the above risks, depending on the outcome of the recruitment process and in order to cover the statutory duties of Head of Paid Service.

Relevant Issues and Options

11.      The job description and person specification for the post of Managing Director are attached at Appendix A.

12.      The arrangements for recruitment and selection to the post of Managing Director have been overseen by the Senior Management Appointment Committee.   The Committee was supported by external expert advice from SOLACE Enterprises Ltd.

13.      The process involved each candidate submitting an application form which was subsequently considered by the Senior Management Appointment Committee on the 10th March 2015. That Committee approved a long list of 7 applicants for progression to the next stage.

14.      Candidates on the long list attended an assessment centre and undertook psychometric testing, an in-tray exercise and a technical interview. The results of this were considered by the Senior Management Appointment Committee on the 18th March 2015 and a short list of 3 applicants was approved for interview by the Committee.

15.      The final interview by the Senior Management Appointment Committee will take place on the 24th March 2015 and the outcome will be reported verbally to Council at this meeting.

16.      In the event of having to wait for a new Managing Director to commence employment beyond 30th April 2015 or indeed the need to re-advertise the post, it is important that contingency arrangements are approved at an early point by Council.

17.      There is clearly no option of leaving the post vacant given the statutory requirements to allocate Head of Paid Service responsibilities and the need to ensure continued leadership during the first part of the new financial year.  The need for leadership will be particularly important to continue to drive the Council's reshaping services agenda and to oversee a range of current change programmes.

18.      Members will be aware that there are already cover arrangements in place to cover any short term absences of the current Managing Director. Such arrangements were approved by Council in July 2012 and have provided for the existing Directors to cover the role on a 'rotating' basis.

19.      Whilst the rotating cover arrangements are sufficiently robust to cover short term absences of the current Head of Paid Service, they would be inadequate over any sustained period.  

20.      Further, if there is a delay in the appointment of a Managing Director from 1st May 2015, arrangements will have to be put in place to fill the statutory role of Head of Paid Service, which can only be allocated to one specified officer, possibly on an interim basis.

21.      As the current Managing Director has only agreed to remain in post until 30th April 2015 and if the circumstances as set out in paragraph 16 arise, options for filling the role of Managing Director including Head of Paid Service will have to be considered and such options  are as set out below.

Contingency Arrangements for Progressing an Interim Appointment

22.      Consideration could be given to appointing an internal candidate to the post on a short term interim basis to cover any gap between the retirement of the current post holder and the appointment of her successor.

23.      In accordance with the above it would be proposed that expressions of interest should be sought from existing Directors and Heads of Service and appointment managed through the Senior Management Appointments Committee.

24.      As this would be a temporary post for less than 12 months, the post would not need to be externally advertised and as such the arrangements would be congruent with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014.

25.      Confirmation of any successful interim candidate would still, however, need to be ratified by a subsequent full Council meeting. 

26.      Such an appointment could be managed relatively quickly and if successful would help to maintain leadership continuity during the period concerned and minimise the need for an induction period and loss of related productivity and performance.

27.      This option has particular merit given the organisational knowledge, corporate commitment, and range of expertise of the current senior management team.

28.      Consideration would, inevitably need to be given to the likely numbers of those expressing an interest and could restrict the field of applicants expressing an interest for understandable reasons.

29.      In addition Members would need to be aware of the management capacity issues if an interim Managing Director were appointed from within.  Such an arrangement would clearly need to be supplemented by other acting up arrangements in order to balance day to day service pressures with corporate demands.

30.      If necessary, an alternative approach would be the appointment of an external interim Managing Director. This could be explored either directly as a result of the circumstances described in paragraph 16 or as "fall-back" position should an internal interim appointment not be made.

31.      In either circumstance the process would again need to be managed under the delegated authority of the Senior Management Appointments Committee and any appointment ratified at a full Council meeting.

32.      The estimated cost of an interim manager for three months would be approximately £69,000 based on a five-day work pattern and an estimated daily rate of £1,270. The daily rate is based on information available from the Institute of Interim Management.  There clearly, however would be the opportunity to negotiate the most favourable rates with the relevant agency supplier should the circumstances arise.

33.      The main consideration for the Council will be the need to anticipate any possible risks associated with either a delay in securing an early start date for a successful applicant for the post of Managing Director or not making an appointment as a result of the interviews.  Consequently,  it is important that interim plans are considered at this special meeting of Council, should it be necessary.

34.      If an internal applicant is appointed then it is proposed that they take up the post on the 1 May 2015, with appropriate plans being made to progress appointment of any back-filling arrangements.

35.      If an external applicant is appointed then, depending on the length of their notice period, contingency arrangements are required to secure appropriate interim arrangements in line with proposals as set out in this report.

36.      It is therefore proposed that if necessary, the simultaneous pursuit of both an internal interim candidate (through an expression of interest exercise) and an external arrangement are progressed.

37.      As indicated, such an appointment would need to be managed under the auspices of the Senior Management Appointments Committee and ratified by Council at a further special meeting of Council as soon as practicable.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

38.      The costs of any acting up allowance to an internal interim Managing Director would depend on the current salary of the person appointed. This would not be expected to exceed £21,000 for 3 months including on-costs (£84,000 in a year). There may be additional costs if back-filling arrangements are required to cover the interim’s substantive post.

39.      The estimated cost of an external interim manager for three months would be approximately £69,000 (£276,000 in a year).

40.      The budget to meet these costs would come from the salary and on-cost budget for the substantive post of Managing Director. For three month this budget would be £42,500 (£170,000 in a year). Cost in excess of this budget would need to be met from savings within the Policy and Resources Directorate overall budget. 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

41.      There are no sustainability and climate change implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

42.      Council has a statutory responsibility to designate one of their officers as the Head of Paid Service and requires Council to ensure that such officer is subject to reasonable terms and conditions as Council sees fit. The recommendations within this report seek to ensure that this statutory responsibility is fulfilled.

43.      The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 require a Council to publicly advertise posts where it wants to appoint a Chief Officer and pay an annual remuneration of over £100,000 (unless the appointment is for a period of no longer than 12 months).

44.      Any decision to appoint to the post of Head of Paid Service by the Senior Management Appointments Committee following the recruitment and selection process must be ratified by full Council.

Crime and Disorder Implications

45.      There are no crime and disorder implications directly arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

46.      The recruitment process has been managed in accordance with the Council's equality proofed recruitment and selection policy and the requirements of the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014.

Corporate/Service Objectives

47.      The proposals within this report have been designed to help ensure a sustainable management structure for the Council.

Policy Framework and Budget

48.      This report is a matter for consideration by Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

49.      This is a corporate decision and no ward member consultation required.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

50.      Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Council Report 2nd September 2014 and 17th December 2014


Contact Officer

The Leader


Officers Consulted

Relevant professional officers


Responsible Officer:

The Leader