Councillors from all political parties will discuss the proposal at the Full Council meeting on 15 September, with the agenda and papers released online today (Tuesday 7 September).
An independent external review into the effectiveness of the temporary Managing Executive Director operating model concluded that a leadership structure with a permanent Managing Director will best enable us to meet the challenges ahead and that we need to invest at our most senior level.
The report to Full Council proposes that the county needs strong, accountable senior officer leadership to ensure it has the capacity to face the considerable challenges of the next few years.
The Managing Director will set clear strategic direction, drive performance and provide accountability to councillors and residents. The role will also lead on relationships with key partners locally, regionally and nationally, ensuring Derbyshire has influence at every level and that the county’s voice is heard.
Councillor Barry Lewis, Leader of Derbyshire County Council, said the move was essential to enable Derbyshire to thrive and compete:
“The changing world of local government – which includes leading the post-pandemic economic and social recovery, the integration of health and social care, driving forward Vision Derbyshire to develop a collaborative working model across all local authorities, and harnessing the opportunities that a devolution deal for Derbyshire presents – means we have to adapt and respond at every level across the organisation.
“And in order to be at the front of the queue for the opportunities that the changing relationship between local and national government are bringing, Derbyshire now needs a strategic lead officer to give it profile and impact at a national level.
“Our collective leadership model, with 4 equal Executive Directors, was absolutely right for the challenges of 2017 when it was introduced and continues to deliver benefits in terms of collaborative and transparent decision-making. Our approach in 2017 did away with the inefficiencies we inherited and we continue to take a streamlined approach to management at the council.
“So much has changed in the world since 2017 which means the council now requires a permanent Managing Director working closely with the council’s Cabinet and Executive Directors, to ensure that the council delivers its ambitious plans including those in our manifesto.
“This approach demonstrates our responsiveness as a council, our ability to change and adapt to a new landscape and our determination to do what is right for Derbyshire people, our partner organisations and our communities.”
The salary for the new Managing Director has been externally benchmarked against the same role at comparable councils and set within the range £161,000 to £176,000.