The Council, on 21 October 2015, agreed the voluntary redundancy of Gill Rowe, Managing Director (People and Places), to achieve savings and to enable a new management structure to be put in place to deliver the new Council Plan 2015-18.
In the meantime, an interim management structure has been put in place pending a further report to Council. A saving of £103,507 per annum will be made.
From 1 February 2016, Kim Webber, Managing Director (Transformation) will become Acting Chief Executive and will be designated Head of the Paid Service and Returning Officer. She will be supported by 4 interim Directors, together with the Borough Solicitor, Borough Treasurer and Borough Transformation Manager.
Councillors also agreed a new Council Plan for 2015-18, setting out aims for the next three years, for the economy; the environment; and the health and wellbeing of West Lancashire.
Gill Rowe said "I have felt privileged to serve as Managing Director in a job I love, with excellent colleagues and Councillors, and I am proud of what we have achieved, as a team, over many years".
Councillor Leader, Ian Moran, said "I would like to place on record my thanks to Gill for her 27 years of dedicated service to this Council. The Council is under financial pressure, as are all authorities, and we will need to make an estimated £2.1m of savings over the next two years. The changes will enable the Council to put in place a new management structure, providing the necessary officer leadership to deliver the Council's priorities, whilst further reducing management costs. I look forward to working with Kim, the interim team and my Cabinet, on the way forward, and achieving our ambitious new Plan for West Lancashire."
Gill Rowe, Managing Director (People and Places), will have served the Council as a Chief Officer for 27 years at Christmas. Originally she was Head of Legal Services and then became Council Secretary and Solicitor, responsible for Legal, Democracy and Financial Management Services. Prior to this she had held posts at Wigan, Rossendale and Bolton Councils and has worked for over 34 years in local government. Educated at Ormskirk C of E Primary School and Ormskirk Grammar School, Gill graduated with a Law Degree from the University of Sheffield and then studied for her Solicitors Final Examinations at the College of Law in Chester.
Kim Webber, Managing Director (Transformation), joined the Council in 1999 as Assistant Chief Executive, with a remit for Policy and Performance. Her responsibilities later included Revenues and Benefits, Customer Services, ICT and Human Resources. Kim has 29 years of local government experience having previously worked at Bolton MBC, Rochdale MBC and Manchester City Council, where she started her local government career in 1986.
In terms of Transparency, the Managing Director posts carry annual remuneration of £94,402. A redundancy payment of £99,575 will be made to the Managing Director (People and Places). Council Policy is that when making posts redundant there should be a payback period of less than three years. The changes agreed by Council provide a payback period of 2.2 years.
Redundancy costs have been calculated in accordance with the Council’s Redundancy Policy, which complies with the Local Government (Early Termination of Employment) (Discretionary Compensation) (England and Wales) Regulations 2006. Pension strain cost will be paid to the Pension Fund of £188,230. The pension strain cost has been calculated in accordance with the Local Government Superannuation Scheme Regulations.