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Full Council to consider appointment of new CEO

08 November 2021 : Council news

A special meeting of Somerset West and Taunton Council is being held to approve the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer.

Members will be asked to ratify the appointment of Andrew Pritchard at the full council meeting on Tuesday 16 November, as recommended by the Appointment Panel.

If approved the new CEO whose post includes the roles of Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer will begin on 17 November 2021.

The former CEO James Hassett left SWT at the end of October having joined when the Council was formed in April 2019.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts said: “James steered the new council through the wide reaching transformation programme started by the former Taunton Deane Borough and West Somerset Councils.

“He also spearheaded the Council’s regeneration programmes for Coal Orchard and Firepool, rebooted the Garden Town vision and kick-started the commercial investment programme generating additional income for the authority.

“All this and more while ensuring there were no cuts to services, and that staff and communities were supported through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his service to the authority and the people of Somerset West and Taunton.”

The Council’s Executive agreed a twin track approach to filling the position to take account of the timeline for Local Government Reform, with the option of recruiting an Interim CEO through a specialist agency or a permanent CEO through internal recruitment.

Two internal applications were received and shortlisted. Four candidate profiles were received from an external agency and one was shortlisted.

The Appointment Panel which comprised of the Leader of SWT, Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts; Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Derek Perry; Chair of the Council, Cllr Hazel Priory-Sankey; Executive Member for Corporate Resources, Cllr Ross Henley; and the Chair of the Community Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Libby Lisgo; agreed unanimously to recommend Andrew Pritchard.

Andrew is currently Director of External Operations and Climate Change having joined the Council in January 2020.