The right leadership for Kirklees

I have said many times on here that local councils like ours are facing a time of unprecedented financial challenge and must develop a new relationship with our residents and businesses if we are to be effective in future.

Part of my role in that is to ensure that we have the right senior leadership in place to enable that to happen.

We are transforming Kirklees – from the necessary investment in technology to enable new ways of working, to the fundamental service change required to ensure we can still afford to support our most vulnerable residents in the future. Our partners also need the confidence and assurance that there is a long term team in place that they can work alongside to deliver our shared aims.

It is for that reason that Personnel Committee members have taken some key strategic decisions this week.

Most importantly we think it is important that we get on with the appointment of a permanent chief executive and alongside that permanent senior leadership at strategic Director level at the Council. Jacqui Gedman was appointed on an interim basis in February. That recruitment was based on our experience of interviewing her in an open recruitment for the post of Deputy Chief Executive earlier in 2016.The drive, leadership and pace she has brought to the organisation is evident for all to see. The transformation has picked up pace under her leadership, and she has brought in senior support to help us tackle our biggest issues.

It is clear however because of a number of on-going challenging issues facing the Council that there is a need for it to have in place permanent senior leadership to keep this Council moving forwards in the positive direction it has started along. This means putting in place a process to appoint to the post of Chief Executive permanently and sooner than originally anticipated when the decision was made last year to fill the post on an Acting basis and so we will shortly be recommending to the next ordinary meeting of Council that Jacqui Gedman be appointed permanently to the post of Chief Executive.

This will also allow us to have clarity about other posts at a senior level and take steps to fill the Strategic Director vacancies for Childrens and Economy and Infrastructure through external advert.

I believe that with that permanent  team in place sooner rather than later residents, local businesses, councillors and our partners can have confidence we will thrive in the future.


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