Council’s top job up for grabs

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Falkirk Council this week agreed the soon-to-be vacant post of its chief executive will be advertised both externally and internally.

Mary Pitcaithly, who has held the top job for 20 years, is retiring in June and the local authority is already putting a process in place to find her successor.

At a meeting of the full council on Monday, members decided to delegate powers to the appointments committee to find a suitable candidate to replace Mrs Pitcaithly.

The post of chief executive is the most senior officer post within the council – the holder of the job has authority over all other officers and is responsible for the effective management of the council, providing advice and guidance on strategic policy matters.

It was suggested, to ensure openess and transparency and to find the best possible field of applicants, the post should be advertised both internally and externally.

The salary for the chief executive post is set nationally and comprises of a three point incremental scale. Placement on the scale is to be determined locally and councils may choose to adopt a single point salary by applying the top of the scale.

Members took the decision to advertise the vacancy outside the council and attach the three point incremental pay scale to it, which will see the successful candidate rising from £127,218 per year to £129,821 and finally £133,713.

It was stated Mrs Pitcaithly will be available to give the benefit of her vast experience to the appointments committee before she leaves in the summer.

Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: “Mary is still going to be around until June, demonstrating dedication in her role. There will be plenty of time to pay tribute to Mary and we are thankful for the extended period of notice she has given the council.”

Opposition leader Dennis Goldie added: “Mary’s service to Falkirk Council has been outstanding. I hope we can get someone of the same standard and the same commitment, but it will be a hard act to follow.”