Cornwall Council chief to be paid £158-£176k
CORNWALL Council has confirmed the appointment of a new chief executive.
The decision to hire Andrew Kerr, chief operating officer at Cardiff Council, by a selection committee on Friday was rubber-stamped by the full council at County Hall on Tuesday.
Mr Kerr hit the national headlines over a six-figure pay-off from his £183,000-a-year job as chief executive of Wiltshire Council. He will now earn between £158,000 and £176,000 as the replacement for Kevin Lavery, who left for a post at Wellington City Council in New Zealand.
In confirming the members' appointment panel decision to choose Mr Kerr, council leader John Pollard thanked interim chief executive Paul Masters, who has filled the role since Mr Lavery's departure.
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"Over the past few months he has led this organisation in a very positive and enthusiastic manner and ably fulfilled his brief," he said, but insisted Mr Kerr was the best candidate to take on a very important role.
"Andrew Kerr is an experienced chief executive," said Mr Pollard.
"He impressed members of the panel with his clarity and understanding of the challenges for the future."
Councillors said Mr Kerr was chosen after an intensive two-day appointment process.
Deputy leader Jeremy Rowe said a number of people might have been surprised by the panel's choice. "What we've had from this is unanimous cross-party agreement," he said. "I think we as a panel surprised ourselves.
"I think it's fair to say we, in the end, picked the best person for the job."
Both praised panel chairman Fiona Ferguson for her performance.
The motion was passed with a number of abstentions and one member against, with Councillor Mark Kaczmarek criticising the appointments process, saying councillors not on the panel should have been given the opportunity to meet the candidates.
Mr Masters will return to his former role as assistant chief executive.