Taunton

Somerset West and Taunton Council to appoint new CEO

A special meeting of Somerset West and Taunton Council will be held later this month to approve the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Councillors will be asked to ratify the appointment of Andrew Pritchard at the authority’s full council meeting on 16 November, after being recommended by the council’s Appointment Panel.

Mr Pritchard is currently Director of External Operations and Climate Change at the authority having joined in January 2020.

If approved, the new CEO, whose post includes the roles of Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer, will begin on 17 November 2021.

Former CEO, James Hassett left Somerset West and Taunton Council at the end of October having joined when the authority was formed in April 2019.

Commenting, Leader of Somerset West and Taunton Council, Councillor Federica Smith-Roberts said:

“James steered the new council through the wide-reaching transformation programme started by the former Taunton Deane Borough and West Somerset councils.

“He also spearheaded the council’s regeneration programmes for Coal Orchard and Firepool, rebooted the Garden Town vision and kick-started the commercial investment programme generating additional income for the authority.

“All this and more while ensuring there were no cuts to services and that staff and communities were supported through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his service to the authority and the people of Somerset West and Taunton.”

The council’s Executive agreed a twin track approach to filling the position to take account of the timeline for local government reform in Somerset, with the option of recruiting an interim CEO through a specialist agency or a permanent CEO through internal recruitment.

Two internal applications were received and shortlisted, while four candidate profiles were received from an external agency, with one being shortlisted.

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