Borough mulls interim chief until 2018

SWALE Borough Council is exploring plans to appoint an interim chief executive until September 2018 to replace its outgoing CEO.

The council said the move would help it "maintain momentum" that could be lost during the external recruitment of a permanent successor.  

Proposals going before the council's appointments subcommittee would see current director of corporate services Mark Radford take up the role once current chief executive Abdool Kara leaves in February. Kara, who has been Swale's CEO since 2009, is joining the National Audit Office.

Under the plans, the interim chief executive would act as returning office and electoral registration officer. Line management responsibilities for the director of corporate services would be divided among the senior management team.

Radford joined Swale in 1987 as its estates officer and valuer. He was promoted to director of corporate services in 1996.

Cllr Gerry Lewin, deputy leader of the council, said: "Given the fast pace of change and continuation of austerity in the public sector, the council needs to remain responsive and flexible if we are to achieve our corporate priorities in 2018.

"The proposed interim arrangements would help us maintain momentum and stability that could be lost through inevitable uncertainty and delay caused by an external recruitment process. It also gives us the chance to take a period of time to reflect on the wider strategic picture facing district authorities, while maintaining progress.

"The director of corporate services has significant senior management experience within the council, has covered on occasions in the past the substantive elements of the chief executive role and has wide managerial experience, including in property and transformation."

The appointments subcommittee will discuss the plans on 10 January. Its recommendation will go before the full council for a final decision on 25 January.