Following Local Government Association (LGA) recommendations, Bristol City Council is making changes to its leadership structure to re-establish a Chief Executive post.
The council is currently led by Executive Directors, including the Executive Director for Resources who is also the Head of Paid Service. With no change in salary or associated costs, this role will be deleted, and the Chief Executive role re-introduced having been previously deleted in 2017.
The decision follows an LGA Corporate Peer Challenge last year where it was recommended the re-introduction of a Chief Executive would “bring greater clarity and accountability and the role would create the right conditions to drive delivery, further embed improvement as well as provide additional energy at the top of the organisation.”
The current Executive Director for Resources and Head of Paid Service, Mike Jackson, has been recommended by a Selection Committee made up of a cross-party group of councillors to take up the role. A recommendation on his appointment to the role will be made to Full Council on Thursday 21 May 2020.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Our journey over the past 18 months has been one of re-imagining the role of the local authority whilst ramping up delivery of our ambitions for the city. The emergence of the Covid-19 crisis and the necessary period of recovery that follows sees our journey rise to unprecedented challenges and requires the council to evolve to meet them.
“Building on the endorsement of the Local Government Association’s Peer Challenge we are introducing this role to further drive delivery and provide a focal point of officer leadership at the top of the organisation. Each of our Executive Directors are recognised locally and nationally as leaders in their fields and their sector leadership will be essential factors in our collective recovery from Covid-19. This continuity is important to ensuring our successes to date can be built upon as we enter the next phase of our journey together.”
The post of Chief Executive was removed from the council’s structure in 2017 as part of a wider management restructure. This revamp of the council’s leadership structure saw the authority reduce the number of posts to create a smaller team, saving over £1m a year.
This smaller, focused, leadership team received praise from the Local Government Association’s Peer Challenge when it visited Bristol in 2018 to conduct a review of the council’s structures and plans. A follow up visit by the review team in 2019 reinforced the findings and recommended that the council introduce the post of Chief Executive to move onto the next level of delivering on the city’s ambitions.