New £150,000 climate change and regeneration chiefs to be appointed as part of Durham County Council shake-up

Durham County Council is looking to recruit two new senior officers as part of a shake-up of its corporate management team.

Thursday, 5th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 5th December 2019, 9:49 am
County Hall, the headquarters of Durham County Council.

The restructure plan, signed off by councillors this week, includes the creation of two £148,583-a-year posts.

New roles include corporate directors for ‘regeneration, economy and growth’ and ‘neighbourhoods and climate change’.

The changes at the top were prompted by the imminent departure of several council officers.

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This includes corporate director for regeneration and local services Ian Thompson and director of transformation and partnerships, Lorraine O’Donnell.

The two roles are set to be deleted as part of the restructure.

Chief executive of Durham County Council, Terry Collins, outlined the plan to full council on December 4.

Following a review, the council chief said it would be “beneficial” to create more capacity in the corporate team to help manage workloads.

This includes economic growth, regeneration, neighbourhoods and the authority’s climate change commitments.

Current targets include a 60% reduction in council emissions by 2030 and making the county carbon-neutral by 2050 following a ‘climate emergency’ declaration earlier this year.

Chief executive, Terry Collins, added: “I believe that having a corporate director with leadership and responsibility for this area gives out a strong message about how seriously we are as a council about achieving these targets and making a positive environmental difference to our county.

“I think it’s a really positive step.”

Following the approval, the council’s chief officer appointments committee will meet with a view to recruiting the two new posts.

A report prepared for council adds the deletion of the transformation and partnerships role will “offset the cost of the proposals.”

The report adds: “The proposals will enable the council to have a better strategic focus on existing and future regeneration projects, growing the economy, climate change and the portfolio associated with the environment.”

Councillors from political parties gave messages of thanks to outgoing officers at the Durham County Hall meeting.

Other officers leaving the authority include head of culture and sport, Stephen Howell and managing director of Business Durham, Brian Archer.