Senior officer moving on

A SENIOR council officer is set to leave after securing another job at a neighbouring local authority.

Caroline O’Neill, 49, Hartlepool Borough Council’s assistant director of performance and achievement, has handed in her notice after landing a job at Durham County Council.

The council currently has a recruitment freeze, but it has been agreed to replace the outgoing officer.

Councillors agreed to set up an appointments panel at a recent meeting of the full council.

Independent councillor Alison Lilley paid tribute to the departing officer, who is a mum of two from Newcastle, at the meeting.

Coun Lilley said: “We are losing a very fine officer.

“It is our loss and Durham’s gain.

“I have worked with Caroline often and I’m very sad to see her go, but congratulations and all the best for the future.”

Councillors also agreed to set up an appointments panel for the role of temporary director of child and adult services because Mrs O’Neill and another assistant director have been covering that role as well.

Former director, Nicola Bailey, is currently acting chief executive.

A report to the meeting said: “As a result of the assistant director – performance & achievement giving notice, the temporary backfill arrangements for the director of child and adult services need to be reviewed.

“It is proposed that a temporary appointment be made to the role internally.

“Should an appointment result in a temporary vacancy of assistant director which would be filled on a full-time basis it is proposed that the same appointments panel undertake the recruitment and selection, following the necessary vacancy approval.”