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News - 22 August 2012

Chief Executive post advertised

The search for a new Brighton & Hove chief executive to replace John Barradell has started with an advert on the council website referencing the city's journey from the trendsetting ‘Mod’ culture of the 1960s to the cutting edge digital city of the early 2000s.

The job description highlights “significant challenges” faced by Brighton & Hove together with its strengths in terms of coterminosity of provision from public sector partners and strong partnerships with the business community [with the Economic Partnership being specifically named] and the two universities. The strategic location with good transport links and the scalability of the city are also highlighted as key strengths.

The administration’s commitment to “greater and smarter use of technology” requires candidates who are “digitally savvy” as well as forward-thinking and committed to One Planet Living principles.

In the light of the departure of three of the four strategic directors [see earlier story] the job application describes a considerably altered senior management structure albeit clearly marked as an interim measure to be the subject of further consultation.

The advert expects candidates to have a strong track record of success and achievement at the highest levels in a local authority or a "similar large, complex organisation” which at first sight could also encourage applicants from the private sector. But it also expects “a solid understanding of . . . . operating in a dynamic, pressurised, political environment” in addition to experience of working with a range of public sector bodies so it seems likely that a successful applicant will have considerable experience in another council possibly in addition to working for a private company.

The post offers a “competitive” salary but no figure is quoted.

At a cost of £18,000 the council has appointed consultants Gatenby Sanderson to recruit the new CEO; applications close at midday on 12th September with an appointment being made early in October.


Given the worsening global and national economic landscape, the local turmoil in the council over the past three years, the dissaray of the senior management team and the enormous challenges in terms of homes and jobs, the appointment of a new chief executive is quite simply the most important decision the city will face for the next decade.

It is a cliche in these circumstances to say that whoever gets the job will have to hit the ground running but in this instance it is also a gross underestimation. Whoever gets the job will have to hit the ground like one of the Olympic gymnasts doing a piked Arabian double front followed by a back layout with a triple twist; and preferably the athelete that won the gold medal. 

Click here to download B&H City Council Chief Executive candidate pack

Read related items on:
Local government
Brighton & Hove City Council
Barradell, John

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