Lichfield District Council is to appoint an interim chief executive after a candidate turned down the opportunity to lead the local authority on a permanent basis.

Lichfield District Council House

Current incumbent Diane Tilley is due to stand down next month.

A report by Cllr Doug Pullen, leader of Lichfield District Council, to a meeting tomorrow said efforts to find a long term chief executive had “not yielded a permanent appointment”.

The local authority whittled down 28 candidates to their preferred individual as part of a recruitment process.

“At the conclusion of this rigorous and detailed selection process, it was agreed to recommend to council the appointment of one of the four shortlisted as the new chief executive by unanimous agreement.

“However, on reflection of the offer the successful candidate withdrew from the process citing a change in their career opportunities in their current organisation as a result of recent announcements.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council

Tony McGovern, previously managing director at Cannock Chase District Council is now expected to fill the role in the short term.

“Due to the timing of the current post holder’s departure and clashes with bank holiday and election period, it was felt necessary to appoint an interim chief executive to allow sufficient time to consider alternate options and assess the next steps to recruiting to the permanent role.

“It is also felt that uncertainty due to the pandemic has led to rapid changes in the recruitment market – with many senior roles in similar organisation being available.

“The recommended candidate for the interim position has previous experience of senior leadership roles within Staffordshire having just stepped down as managing director and head of paid service for Cannock Chase District Council.

“It is considered that Tony can lead the organisation effectively through the remaining challenges from Covid-19 response and our recovery plans until a permanent appointment is made, bringing key skills and experience to the organisation.”

Cllr Doug Pullen, Lichfield District Council

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  1. As career opportunities go, I think the Conservative-led LDC will be hard-pressed to find a top quality new CEO.

    One look at the way the authority has operated in the last 10 years would be enough to get any candidate worth their salt to think long and hard about whether it would be a challenge worth taking on.

    It might be a while before they get to pass on this particular poisoned chalice.

  2. Surely if there is a short list of 4 people, they must all be capable of doing the job, otherwise why are they on the “shortlist”? I fail to understand why the next best choice wouldn’t be offered the role.

    Rejecting the other 3 implies the shortlisting process wasn’t worth the paper is it was written on.

    Yet more strange actions from LDC leadership!

    When will it end?

  3. I thought panto was only for Christmas! What about the 3 other so called shortlisted & therefore presumably superior applicants to the other candidates? – or did they all walk away once they saw the issues within LDC?

  4. To be fair the remaining three shortlisted candidates may not have been appointable after being interviewed (good on paper etc.) and there was only one suitable candidate (who then did not want it). The statement does not make it clear so as seems increasingly common with LDC it’s all smoke and mirrors. These things happen and should not necessarily be seen as a botched recruitment process by LDC you can only appoint if the candidate meets your requirements. Rather it go to another round than appoint the wrong person.

  5. I refer you to my earlier comment, the shortlisting process wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.
    This is a CEO role not Managing Director of the car park.
    If your on the final list you should be suitable for appointment.
    If I were one of the three who didn’t get it I’d feel really aggrieved by the process.

  6. Sounds like a nice little earner- trouser loads of money (more than the Prime Minister) for doing very little and you don’t even have to get your hands dirty and then retire early with a fat cat pension!

  7. Whoever Whatever! Nothing changes. The same poor decisions or non decisions are still being applied. LDC is an embarrassing joke.

  8. You may have heard of “The Peter Principle”. This is where people get promoted until they reach a level of incompetence. I would suggest that our District Council and it’s backroom management have reached this level. Their decision making capacity lacks logicallity and empathy. If a way cannot be found to improve this then the city and area will sink into mediocrity. It says much that the main candidate went through the selection process and then rejected the position. Her perception to take such a decision probably reflects the nature of those she would be working with.

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