Council ready to fill chief vacancy

Hartlepool Civic Centre and (below) Nicola Bailey
Hartlepool Civic Centre and (below) Nicola Bailey

INTERVIEWS are being held today to fill the vacant chief executive position at Hartlepool Borough Council.

The local authority is looking for a new chief executive to replace Paul Walker, who left the council last August after eight years in the job.

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Nicola Bailey is currently acting chief executive but it was announced earlier this month that she has handed in her notice and is taking up a job within the NHS.

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The full council had already agreed to replace Mr Walker on a full-time basis and the news regarding Mrs Bailey broke the day before the council’s appointments panel met for the first time to discuss appointing a chief executive on a permanent basis.

It was agreed to advertise the post internally initially and interviews with interested candidates were due to be held today.

If a suitable candidate isn’t found then the position will be advertised externally.

The salary band for the post has been confirmed at £140,000 to £150,000.

A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said: “We can confirm that the interview process for the post of chief executive will take place today.”

The council’s appointments panel, which meets behind closed doors, is due to meet at 1pm in the Civic Centre.

Panel members are then expected to make a recommendation to a future meeting of the full council.

Mrs Bailey, 47, has landed a new role in the NHS as managing director of North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group and is expected to leave before the end of the year.

The mum-of-four joined the authority in late 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 a restructure saw departments reduce from five to three.