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Councillors to interview candidates for the top job in Powys 

Powys County Council

COUNCILLORS will get the opportunity to quiz candidates for the top job at Powys County Council.

At a behind closed doors council meeting on Tuesday, October 3 councillors will interview candidates for the role of chief executive which comes with a salary of up to £148,919 plus a “relocation package.”

Councillors will get to decide whether to go ahead and appoint a new chief executive and if needed vote on: “which of the candidates be offered the post.”

The process of finding a new chief executive to lead the council’s paid service started in earnest earlier this week.

Last Monday, (September 25) councillors on the council’s Employment and Appeals committee met in confidential session to whittle down the list of candidates.

They needed to produce a shortlist of suitable candidates for next week’s meeting.

Recruitment for the role which specified that applications needed to be submitted by September 18 has been handled by consultants, “Solace in Business” who focus on executive recruitment.

The job description for the role explains that the council need someone who is: “a highly capable organisational leader, who can draw the best from others to ensure that aspiration and ambition translates into action on the ground.”

The council also expects candidates to be either at chief executive level at a of smaller council or at least working at a director level at a unitary authority.

Following a reorganisation of local government in Wales back in 1995, Powys and all other 21 local authorities in Wales are of the “unitary” type.

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This means that they run all council services such as education, social care, libraries, rubbish/recycling, and housing.

The candidates will also need to have a “visible and engaging leadership presence” and “be comfortable inviting different views and perspectives” while being ready to make decisions.

The need for a new chief executive comes after Dr Caroline Turner left the authority at the end of July, due to ill health.

Dr Caroline Turner At The 2021 Senedd Elections Count (Pic: Elgan Hearn)

Dr Turner had been absent from work from March due to suffering from “Long Covid.”

Dr Turner took the helm at Powys in February 2019, having been appointed to the role in November 2018.

Dr Turner came to the role from the Isle of Anglesey County Council in where she had been an assistant chief executive.

Over the summer, former Swansea City Council chief executive Jack Straw has been in charge as “interim” chief executive of Powys council.