Hartlepool Borough Council appoints acting chief

New boss Nicola Bailey and retiring chief executive Paul Walker
New boss Nicola Bailey and retiring chief executive Paul Walker

A PANEL of councillors has recommended the appointment of an acting chief to take the helm at Hartlepool Borough Council.

Councillors on the authority’s appointments panel have recommended that Nicola Bailey be made acting chief executive and head of paid service to replace Paul Walker who retires at the end of the month.

Mrs Bailey, 45, is currently director of child and adult services and has worked for Hartlepool Borough Council for six years.

A meeting of the full council will now be held in the Civic Centre on Thursday, August 25, when they will be asked to approve the temporary appointment.

Councillor Carl Richardson, who chaired the appointments panel, said: “As one of only two directors at Hartlepool Council, Nicola has a wealth of experience about the organisation and the challenges it faces over the coming months.

“I am sure that she will step up to the plate and see Hartlepool through what is going to be a very difficult period, given the massive financial constraints.

“The temporary arrangement will result in saving the council over £70,000.”

Mrs Bailey, a mother of four, said: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to take on the role of acting chief executive.

“I am fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead and am absolutely committed to working together with councillors, officers, partner organisations and the public to do the very best for Hartlepool.”

Earlier this month councillors decided that a temporary post was the best way forward until a long-term solution could be decided.

Councillors heard that the retirement of Mr Walker presented not only a significant challenge to the council, but also a real opportunity to find an alternative, and potentially much less costly, solution.

Mrs Bailey joined the authority in 2005 from Redcar and Cleveland Council as director of adult and community services and in August 2009 was appointed director of child and adult services when departments were restructured.s