Applications for Pembrokeshire’s new CEO down to two

Applications to take on Pembrokeshire’s interim chief executive role have been whittled down to two from the six senior officers who put their names forward, with final interviews due later this month.

Minutes of a meeting held in private last month state that Richard Brown (head of environment and civil contingencies), Jonathan Griffiths (director of social services and housing) and Jon Haswell (director of resources) were to be shortlisted for interview as part of the recruitment process following votes by the committee.

Councillors did not vote in favour of shortlisting Darren Thomas (director of transport and the environment) and Rachel Moxey (head of economic development and regeneration) , while a vote to not shortlist James White (deputy chief education officer) was carried.

The minutes note that members were reminded that they must make their decision based on “who met the criteria of both the job description and person specification” in making their shortlist.

The committee ruled that the three applicants be invited for interview by the committee on October 19.

The minutes of this meeting, which again went into private session, show that the committee resolved to recommended that Jonathan Griffiths and Richard Brown be recommended to council for final interview.

Cllr Tessa Hodgson suggested all three applicants, including Jon Haswell, be put forward, but her motion was not carried.

During both stages of recruitment, the head of legal and democratic services gave advice in avoiding council concerns of “a fait accompli” and suggested that it would be preferable to recommend more than one candidate.

The minutes of three recent senior staff committee meetings were ratified when it met again on November 6 to discuss recruitment and selection of a permanent chief executive, to replace outgoing chief Ian Westley.

There were questions raised about creating a more defined role description for the top job before speaking to recruitment agencies, as well as a clearer understanding of how their pitches will be evaluated.

Five recruitment companies – SOLACE in Business, Penna, Robert Half Recruitment Services, GatenbySanderson and Odgers Berndtson – will be invited to present, virtual, pitch proposals to provide external support for the executive search, next Friday (November 13).

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