New CEO for South Somerset

South Somerset District Council rushed another full council meeting onto their calendar for May 5. This time not because of a poll or other extraordinary item, but to get a meeting in before today. The government failed to produce legislation to allow remote meetings to continue beyond 7 May. So any meeting after that date must be an in person meeting. There is more on this in the May edition of The Leveller.

And one of the items on the agenda was to appoint Clare Pestell as Chief Executive (CEO). We reported last week on the departure of Alex Parmley to New Zealand. All councils must have a CEO or equivalent. However with a local government reorganisation looming it is not an attractive prospect. It did not make sense, the council noted, to go for a full recruitment process. So the council’s Appointments Committee approved an internal appointment of an interim CEO for 18 months.

Ms Pestell was dutifully ratified by SSDC’s full council. According to the agenda papers, the new CEO will receive a salary of £118,767,000.

Our strong suspicion is that even SSDC would not consider paying their CEO £118m a year, presumably it will be £118,767……


  • Evelyn Ashford

    Somerset is routinely failing to provide essential support for care and special educational needs. Finding is desperately fought for by many families. This salary is an insult.

    • Evelyn, Somerset County Council has made large cuts to those provisions which are leaving many in situations of considerable difficulty. I believe that most of those cuts are from the County Council along with closing schools, cuts to social care sector and others. This is the district council which has other responsibilities. Knowing which is responsible for which provisions and services across the area or county is worth looking into so you know who is spending on what.

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