New SSDC chief resigns

Alex Parmley, CEO of South Somerset District Council Has resigned. He is leaving for a new life in New Zealand. That much we knew.

SSDC decided to make his replacement an interim CEO. Bearing in mind the imminent restructure of local government in Somerset this made sense.

So they recruited internally. The sole candidate, Clare Pestell was appointed.

The Leveller hears that Ms Pestell has now resigned before even starting on the new role.

No reason has been given. The Leveller is aware of at least one embarrassing error involving Ms Pestell. You can read more about this in the June Leveller out next week.

Mr Parmley has agreed to stay on for now to hold the fort. However he leaves for good on 11 July.

Nicola Hix will take delegated decisions after he leaves. However she is neither acting CEO nor deputy CEO.

This is awkward. SSDC have decided to carry on holding Zoom meetings in the interest of public safety. After 7 May Zoom meetings have no legal basis. So as a compromise- all decisions made at “informal” Zoom meetings will go to the CEO. The CEO does have delegated power to make decisions. But now (or after 11 July) there is no CEO.

As for the future, it is back to the drawing board.

We understand SSDC are now going to try and recruit externally.


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