ALL heads of service and directors at Pembrokeshire County Council will be allowed to apply for the post of interim chief executive.

Senior staff committee approved a proposal that an internal appointment be made to replace outgoing chief executive Ian Westley who will leave the authority at the end of November.

The interim position will be for up to 12 months with the move to find a permanent replacement likely to start in the new year.

Council leader Cllr David Simpson said that cabinet had decided on an internal appointment due to the cost of external appointees possible hitting £1,000 to £1,500 per day.

“We came to a decision as a cabinet that we did not want to burden the tax payers of the county with that sort of amount of money,” he said, adding there would be competent people available.

Back filling of positions would take place to maintain service provision, the committee heard.

The committee approved but added an amendment that a report on the requirements of a permanent replacement, including “innovative” ways of advertising the role be brought back before the end of the month.

Cllr Tessa Hodgson said that using new ways of advertising the permanent role to “cast the net as wide as possible” and attract the best candidates to Pembrokeshire had to be used.

The need for progress with the corporate restructure if the council was highlighted, and Cllr Paul Miller added the “focus on delivery is extremely important going forward.”

The decision of the senior staff committee to commence recruitment will require ratification at full council, currently planned for October 8.

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