October 18, 2019 1.56 pm This story is over 51 months old

County council seeks new chief executive by “end of the year”

Keith Ireland departed Lincolnshire County Council last November

Lincolnshire County Council is hoping to have a new chief executive in post by the end of the year, it has been confirmed.

The authority’s appointments committee will discuss advertising to fill the post during a closed item at its next meeting on Friday, October 25 – nearly 11 months after former Chief Executive Keith Ireland departed the council.

A spokesman confirmed it hoped to have someone in place by the end of 2019, however, said: “It’s at the very early stages at the moment.

“It’s a process that has to be gone through with the appointments committee.”

The discussion will be held in private due to the commercially sensitive nature of some of the information.

Leader of the council, Councillor Martin Hill, and his former chief executive, Keith Ireland reportedly clashed on a number of issues.

The committee will also decide what the role of the chief executive will be under Lincolnshire County Council’s new management structure – which now consists of a corporate leadership team.

The post is currently empty, however Debbie Barnes has taken on the role of head of paid service.

Other executive directors oversee responsibilities including: Children’s Services; Place; Transformation; Adult Care and Community Wellbeing; Fire, Rescue and Public Protection; Resources; Commercial; and legal services.

The vacancy follows the departure of Keith Ireland in November last year.

He left after just four months in the job – a statement at the time called it a “mutual decision”.

Debbie Barnes is head of paid service at Lincolnshire County Council in the absence of a chief executive. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

He joined St Helen’s Council as a consultant interim assistant chief executive in April this year, however, that contract came to an end in September having been extended in July.

Mr Ireland’s Lincolnshire County Council salary equated to around £1,234 a day.

When he was hired he was contracted to £178,500 salary a year for his role as CEO and his pay-off included £133,875 compensation for loss of employment.

Mr Ireland was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year honours list for his services to local government in relation to his previous work at City of Wolverhampton Council, where he was managing director from 2014 until 2018.

Mr Ireland’s consultancy service reportedly cost St Helen’s Council £930 a day according to a Freedom of Information request by the Local Democracy service.

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