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Powys: Senior council chiefs set to continue in interim roles for up to another year

FOR up to another year several senior Powys County Council chiefs will continue in their roles on a temporary basis.

At the council’s annual meeting on Thursday, May 18, the interim chief executive, Jack Straw will tell councillors of the existing senior leadership and executive management team roles that will continue on an interim basis.

Last year it was decided to re-jig senior roles after the former director of social services and organisational development, Alison Bulman left Powys for a similar role in Cornwall.

Every local authority in Wales is legally obliged to have a director of social services.

The report explains that social services is currently split between two directors.

The director of education is responsible for children’s social services, while the adult and social services commissioning is included with housing.

The changes were supposed to be mirrored in a new council scrutiny committee structure.

But in March councillors blocked changes that would have seen scrutiny of social services split between committees.

The changes were supposed to “best support” and deliver on new political priorities and corporate plan of the Liberal Democrat/Labour administration which formed following last year’s local election, as well as fulfilling the legal obligation of having a social services director.

Mr Straw said: “Dr Turner reported to cabinet in June 2022 that she had made some interim changes ensuring the structure was appropriate and were to be in place for a period of six to 12 months.

“The chief executive had commenced a review, however, due to her absence this process has not yet been concluded.

“It is not considered appropriate for any permanent proposals and changes to the leadership structure to be made in the absence of a substantive chief executive.

Mr Straw asks councillors to approve the interim appointment extension for seven roles for “up to” another year.

These are:

  • ▪ director of social services and housing.
  • ▪ director of education and children’s services.
  • ▪ director of corporate services.
  • ▪ head of transformation and democratic services.
  • ▪ head of housing.
  • ▪ head of community services.
  • ▪ head of commissioning and partnerships.

Once the review is completed the new structure and appointments will need to be agreed by the Employment and Appeals committee or at a Full Council meeting.

At a meeting of the Governance and Audit committee earlier this month, the absence of Dr Turner as well as the number of senior interim roles was flagged up as a potential risk to the council and should be placed on the strategic risk register.