Greenwich Council’s next chief executive could be paid as much as £202,900 per year, documents prepared for a meeting next week reveal.
The council’s administration has been run by finance boss Debbie Warren since former chief executive John Comber retired in August 2017. She is currently paid between £190,000 and £195,000.
But a committee of councillors will discuss appointing a permanent chief executive next week – and are prepared to sanction the big pay packet for the right candidate.
The chief executive is the council’s most senior officer, and works with the leader to set the overall direction of a growing borough with more than a quarter of a million residents, running vital services from education and social care to looking after streets, parks and rubbish collection. The job also involves taking charge during emergencies and running elections in the borough.
Next week’s general purposes committee – council leader Danny Thorpe, Labour chief whip Angela Cornforth, deputy leader David Gardner and opposition representative Geoff Brighty – will be asked to rubber-stamp a salary band of £194,580 to £202,900.
It is not known whether Warren, a well-liked figure in Woolwich Town Hall, will throw her hat into the ring for the position.
The appointment is a key one for the Thorpe and will give a signal about his plans for the future.
Many will want an appointment to come from outside the council, to sweep away years of a reputation for insularity and a bunker mentality built up under previous leader Chris Roberts and Comber’s predecessor as chief executive, Mary Ney.
Whispers at Woolwich Town Hall point to Kim Wright, Hackney Council’s director of neighbourhoods and housing, as a possible candidate.
But a likely internal candidate is Katrina Delaney, the former communications head who is now deputy chief executive and director of communities and environment. Delaney, who worked closely with former Roberts and is highly regarded in the council administration, is the person behind “brand Royal Greenwich”, the town hall’s way of styling itself and the borough.
The salary beats that of Lewisham chief executive Ian Thomas, whose pay grade is between £175,000 and £185,000. Gill Steward, who left her job running Bexley Council last week, was on £166,383. Over in Southwark, chief executive Eleanor Kelly was paid £204,031 last year.
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