The Council received a report on the appointment of Chief Executive which set out the process adopted for the recruitment of a new Chief Executive. At the end of the process, the Interview Panel had identified two candidates who were both considered to be well suited for the position. The Leader of the Council had agreed to put both candidates forward for a further interview by the Appointment Panel with all Members of the Council prior to the formal Council meeting. Both candidates were invited to attend the further interview, one of whom subsequently withdrew from the process. As a result, the additional interview was cancelled and the report recommended the appointment of the remaining candidate.
Councillor Azad moved and Councillor Ashall seconded the recommendation before the Council, namely the appointment of Julie Fisher as Chief Executive.
Several concerns over the process adopted were raised and Councillor Barker advised that a number of Councillors felt that a further interview should be held with Julie Fisher before the Council reached a decision to enable those Councillors not involved in the interview process to ask questions. In view of this, Councillor Barker moved and Councillor Hughes seconded that:
Council is the determining authority in the appointment of a new CEO.
Councillors were anticipating the opportunity to choose between two candidates.
We must consider both the individual involved and the future operation of the Council in making any decision.
A number of councillors would like to know more about the final candidate before reaching a decision.
To defer the CEO appointment today and facilitate a session, such as would have been arranged for 2 candidates, for the remaining candidate, within the next month.”
The amendment was debated before moving to the vote. In accordance with Standing Order 10.8 the names of Members voting for and against the amendment were recorded. The Mayor advised that, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, she would be voting.
In favour: Councillors M Ali, T Aziz, A-M Barker, J Bond, A Boote, M Bridgeman, G Chrystie, W Forster, K Howard, D Hughes, I Johnson, R Leach, L Lyons, L Morales, M I Raja and J Sanderson.
Total in favour: 16
Against: The Mayor, Councillor Mrs Hunwicks, Councillors S Ashall, A Azad, D Bittleston, G Cundy, K Davis, G Elson, D Harlow, S Hussain, C Kemp, N Martin, R Mohammed, C Rana, and M Whitehand.
Total against: 14
Present not voting:.
The amendment was therefore carried by 16 votes in favour to 14 votes against.
That the CEO appointment be deferred and a session facilitated such as would have been arranged for 2 candidates, for the remaining candidate, within the next month.
The Leader of the Council advised that, in light of the decision taken, an opportunity for all Members to ask questions of Julie Fisher would be arranged in advance of the Executive meeting on 14 January 2021. A further Special Meeting of Council would be held on the evening of 19 January 2021 to confirm the appointment of Chief Executive.