Monday, 18 May 2015

Departure of Andrew Kerr - UPDATED

Cornwall Council's chief executive Andrew Kerr is to leave his post and take up the position as chief executive of Edinburgh City Council.

Mr Kerr has been with the authority since January 2014 and is therefore likely only to serve around 18 months in Cornwall, depending on how much notice he works.

Regardless of his performance capabilities, it is very disappointing that Mr Kerr should be moving on after such a short period of time. It takes around six months to recruit a chief executive at least. An interim might be appointed (as happened last time) and they may be very good (as Paul Masters was last time), but there is still a reticence to take significant decisions until the new permanent post-holder is appointed.

There are three key areas where Mr Kerr was meant to be taking the lead and where his presence will be most missed:
  • The authority has set in place a four year budget plan but that needs to be seen through. 
  • The council is making the 'Case for Cornwall' calling for much greater devolution from Whitehall to Cornwall and one of the key reasons for employing Mr Kerr was his network of civil service contacts.
  • Mr Kerr was previously employed in Wiltshire where there was a significant devolution of services and an emphasis on localism - with local communities making their own decisions. We were promised that there would be a significant project in this area in Cornwall too, but we have yet to see that come to fruition.
Oops - Thanks to those who pointed out the typo. Mr Kerr has been with the council since 2014, not 2004.

UPDATE  - Apparently Mr Kerr is yet to actually resign. He has in fact informed the Leader of his intention to do so. I'm sure there is some technical reason for this but it came out in the most embarrassing fashion as the council was today asked to agree an urgent motion to set up the necessary committee to appoint his successor. Incidentally, Mr Kerr's contract states that he has a three month notice period.

1 comment:

David Evans said...

Now it seems he is going where does that leave you with the case CCC (under his administrative leadership) seem to have fabricated against you?