Alex Thompson, CEC director of finance (1)

Cheshire East Council is on the hunt for another top officer after head of finance Alex Thompson handed in his notice, writes Belinda Ryan.

Mr Thompson is quitting as director of finance and customer service in May to become executive director for finance and transformation at Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

CEC councillors at today’s (Feb 27th) meeting of the full council will be asked to authorise chief executive Rob Polkinghorne to recruit an interim chief financial officer in consultation with the appointments committee chairs.

They are also being asked to authorise the committee to begin the hunt for a permanent replacement.

This is likely to mean more unexpected expense for the cash-strapped council if it has to appoint a temporary finance boss via an agency rather than appointing from within.

Cheshire East recently paid £1,200 a day for temporary chief executive David Parr OBE.

Agency fees took the total daily figure paid by Cheshire East up to £1,380.

In 2019, the council had to appoint an interim monitoring officer on a whopping £1,154 a day.

And 16% of that went to the recruitment agency.

Councils have to appoint a chief financial officer.

Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 states that ‘every local authority shall make arrangements for the proper administration of their financial affairs and shall secure that one of their officers has responsibility for the administration of those affairs’.

A report to tomorrow’s full council meeting states: “Given that the section 151 officer is leaving the council, the costs associated with his employment can be used to fund the proposed interim and permanent appointments.”

The full council meeting takes place on today at 11am at Macclesfield Town Hall.

One Comment

  1. You have to question how the Finance Director and his Team can allow Cheshire East Council reach a financial point where it has such huge deficits and may have to issue Section 114 Notice.
    Operating within budget is and always has been normal practice in the private sector.
    How can Cheshire East Council spend 11 million pounds of taxpayers money on HS2 without securing funding from the Treasury?
    How can it purchase 3000 mobile phones for its employees. Yes some should have mobile phones for work, managers with critical; roles, and those exposed to risk under Health and Safety and Governance.
    It appears common sense has not prevailed, we the public are not made aware of what I perceive as huge amounts of moneys wasted.
    You have also got to questions what other issues have been withheld from the Council Tax Payers of Cheshire East.
    All we are told are feeble reasons for what many will perceive as incompetence.
    Sadly Senior Officers and Counsellors are not being held accountable .
    We need leaders who will take grip on the monies wasted.
    It has to stop.
    Personally I don’t mind paying tax, I object to waste, the lack of accountability of both elected representatives and officers.
    I have read this morning there is a petition to form a new Macclesfield Borough Council and severance from Cheshire East Council.
    Public Limited Companies are held responsible to their share holders, institutional share holders and to the regulators.
    It appears those appointed to represent within a Local Authority are not held responsible or accountable.
    The time for change has arrived.

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