Senior officers given extra roles as South Tyneside Council remains without chief executive

Senior officers appointed to new roles at South Tyneside Council while search continues to replace former chief executive Martin Swales.

South Tyneside Council is still to appoint a new chief executive
South Tyneside Council is still to appoint a new chief executive

Senior officers have been appointed to new roles at South Tyneside Council following the departure of its chief executive.

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While the chief executive role is still vacant, work has been going on behind the scenes to fill his other roles such as head of paid service, returning officer and electoral registration officer.

This week, it was revealed existing officers within the council will take on the positions following a recommendation from the council’s Senior Officer Appointments Sub-Committee.

A report prepared for cabinet on Wednesday, November 4, confirmed all councillors were contacted to vote on the proposals, which were later approved.

George Mansbridge, corporate director of regeneration and environment, has been appointed as interim head of paid service.

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Meanwhile, the returning officer and electoral registration officer roles will be taken on by acting head of legal services and deputy monitoring officer, John Rumney.

Both Mansbridge and Rumney will continue in their current roles on the council as plans are developed to recruit a permanent chief executive.

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A cabinet report reads: “Plans for the permanent recruitment of a chief executive are being developed utilising expert market knowledge of the local government employment sector and the technical advice required to recruit the most senior officer post.”

A South Tyneside Council spokesperson added: “The council has a legal obligation to ensure it meets its statutory duties and so roles have been designated to existing officers.”

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Other recent senior officer appointments include Paul Fleming as head of infrastructure and transport following an external recruitment process.

Andrew Whittaker has also been appointed to the new role of corporate lead for town centres and foreshore, after previously serving as corporate lead for area management.

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According to the cabinet report, any additional costs will be “more than offset” by the saving from the chief executive and corporate director of children, adults and health posts, which are both vacant at this time.

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