Four new starters join council’s leadership team

Westfields entrance

Cheshire East Council has announced the appointment of four new senior officers.

Jayne Traverse will join the council as executive director – place, moving from Tameside Council. The place directorate includes highways, waste and recycling, economic development, housing and planning.

Deborah Woodcock, currently of Stockport Council, is joining as executive director – children's services. Deborah will be responsible for delivery of the council's education, children's social care and safeguarding, early help and prevention services.

Helen Charlesworth-May, from Cornwall Council, will join as executive director – adults, health and integration. This directorate delivers adult social care and safeguarding, public health and communities' services.
Additionally, Sarah Bullock is to join as the council's new director of policy and change. This new role has been created as part of a corporate services restructure to bring a new focus on policy and driving council-wide change. Sarah is moving from a position at St Helens Council.

Cheshire East Council chief executive Dr Lorraine O'Donnell said: "I am delighted to announce recent appointments to Cheshire East Council's senior team. Between them, our new colleagues bring a wealth of additional experience and expertise to complement our existing strong team.

"It is a great time to join the organisation. We have a clear vision for an open, fair and green Cheshire East, as set out in our corporate plan, and a four-year balanced budget.

"Local public services have never been so important as they are now, as we emerge from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

"Cheshire East is in a strong position to overcome the challenges and maximise the many strengths and opportunities ahead. These roles will be crucial in driving and delivering our vision."

The role of executive director – place became vacant following the resignation of Frank Jordan, who left Cheshire East Council at the end of August to join Nottingham City Council.

The roles of executive director – children's services, and executive director – adults, health and integration were created following the resignation of the former executive director – people and the retirement of the former strategic director for adult social care.

Dr O'Donnell added: "The new starters are expected to take up their posts over the next few months. In the meantime, we will continue to work with the senior teams in affected directorates to ensure that appropriate interim arrangements are in place."



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Nick Jones
Friday 10th September 2021 at 6:30 pm
...and the total financial cost for these contracts is £.????.
Simon Worthington
Saturday 11th September 2021 at 9:39 am
Another bunch on the public sector jobs Merry- go- round with their snouts firmly plunged into the taxpayers trough!! Salaries please. Six figures?
Perhaps the council will cancel the fleecing via “social care charge” now our socialist ( being very polite) government has broken its manifesto promise and plans to loot yet more from the taxpayer for the very same policy. About the same chance as Lionel Messi signing for Macc Town!
Gemma Evans
Sunday 12th September 2021 at 2:05 pm
Nick and Simon - If you read the article down to the bottom you'll notice they are people taking over roles where the current post holder has resigned or retired. There's no indication they are increasing the total amount spent on payroll.
John Gibbons
Sunday 12th September 2021 at 7:40 pm
And I’ll finish your sentence off Nick. The salaries are on Cheshire East’s website. Took about 30 seconds to find, not exactly difficult if you try.
Alan Brough
Sunday 12th September 2021 at 7:41 pm
Gemma, if you’d read the detail you’d notice that the roles have been ‘dormant’ for quite some time, begging the question - do we really need them?

The portfolios are (to say the least) typically oblique and nebulous and previous incumbents have not exactly covered themselves in glory.

I think Nick and Simons questions are valid.
David Smith
Monday 13th September 2021 at 6:10 am
What are their jobs and responsibilities and what financial reward is each of them accepting from WE coucil tax payers in return? Full salary details here please for all to see.
Mark Goldsmith
Monday 13th September 2021 at 8:54 am
I've tried to think of an organisation that doesn’t have someone leading it: PLC’s, limited companies, partnerships, sole traders, governments, government departments, quangos, charities and social enterprises all have leaders. Even organised crime syndicates and terrorist groups have them too.

Therefore, I’ve no idea why anyone thinks Cheshire East is unique in the world and can be run by osmosis.

Cheshire East’s CEO earns £151,000 per year, which reflects running an organisation with 3,000 staff. Therefore these roles will pay less than the CEO's salary. Councils operate in a completely different way to businesses, with different legal constraints, different procedures, different motives and different performance criteria too.

Therefore, there is a limited pool of people able to do these jobs.

The UK is a free market economy, so we cannot impose pay levels based on what the public thinks these roles should pay. Especially as those complaining don't seem to have any idea what the positions involve. This means all Cheshire East can do is ask “Does this salary attract good candidates who can do the job?”

When Cheshire East recently advertised for a new CEO, it had 14 applications. Some were internal but the rest came from all over the country. None of them had direct experience of a similar role elsewhere though. Instead, they were all looking for their next promotion.

Cheshire East’s salary scale is in the lower half of pay levels compared to all other councils. So, we don’t pay the most, but we don’t pay the least either. It means we have a chance of getting and keeping good staff, but not at a premium to council tax payers.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Cheshire West & Chorley
Jon Williams
Monday 13th September 2021 at 10:13 am
Or about £3000 a week + pension !
Gemma Evans
Monday 13th September 2021 at 12:13 pm
Alan Borough, I don't know how you came to that conclusion based on a position being unfilled for a few weeks.

Let's say the previous post holder had to give 1 months notice and the current post holder had to give 1 months notice. That would mean the previous holder handed in their resignation at the end of July. Cheshire East then had to advertise the position, interview candidates, make an offer and then the selected applicant would give 1 months notice to their employer, before they can leave to join Cheshire East. That process can take a few weeks, so to me it reads like they filled the position as soon as they could.

There's been occasions when I've effectively had to cover another role as well as my own due to a vacant position not being filled straight away. That involved a very stressful period and lots of things being put on the back burner, something that wouldn't work long term and may not even work if another employee takes their allocated annual leave during the period when the company is a member of staff short.

The one thing I would question is the figure Mark Goldsmith gives for the CEO's salary - £151,000. That's close to the Prime Minister's salary. While I don't think Boris Johnson is doing a good job as PM I do thing someone in charge of a council shouldn't be earning almost as much as someone running a country.
Stuart Redgard
Friday 24th September 2021 at 5:32 pm
David Smith.

All the information you seek is available from CHESHIRE EAST COUNCIL ON REQUEST.

If you really do want it, then just ask them and then you can publish it here.