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Council considers axing chief executive role

Following the announcement that chief executive Dorcas Bunton is to retire on 31 May, councillors of Derbyshire Dales District Council will next week consider whether or not to axe the top role. 

Bunton, has worked in the public sector for 39 years, stated: “I am very fortunate in retiring from local government at Derbyshire Dales, a beautiful part of the country rich in tradition and community spirit. It is not easy working in the public sector at the moment as there have been years of trying to do more with less. 

“However, I have worked with a phenomenal team of people whose commitment to the communities they serve is second to none, and with councillors who really care about the decisions they make and their impact on people’s daily lives. I wish the council well in moving forward.”

At a full meeting of the Dales authority on 12 April, which will be broadcast live on the district council’s YouTube channel from 6pm, councillors will discuss options for the future operational leadership of the authority.

“The position of chief executive is the pivotal link between the political and executive management structures. An effective liaison at that level within the organisation is essential to the district council’s continuing success,” a report to the meeting stated.

“The chief executive role is the head of the executive management structure and recognised throughout the Dales as where the responsibility lies in terms of operational service delivery.”

In 2011 the authority resolved that the district council should “remain a single entity with its own dedicated management structure.” The council remains with this position but recognises there are many other management models that may be considered, such as sharing a chief executive role.

Head of paid service – the role the chief executive currently fulfils – is a statutory position, and if members want the post of chief executive to continue they will also be asked if there is a need to advertise the position or if there is a suitable internal candidate. If an internal appointment were to be made, councillors will debate what happens to the vacancy that would then be created.


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