Peterborough council to hire permanent finance chief after three year wait

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A permanent finance chief is to be appointed by Peterborough City Council.

The authority has used temporary arrangements since 2017 when the former corporate director for resources John Harrison resigned from the role.

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His sudden departure led to accusations of secrecy with a Peterborough Telegraph Freedom of Information request for all documents and correspondence relating to the resignation being refused by the council which claimed it would breach data protection principles.

Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich with Peter CarpenterPeterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich with Peter Carpenter
Peterborough City Council leader Cllr John Holdich with Peter Carpenter

In his final year in the job Mr Harrison received £184,572, including pension contributions.

The council is now seeking to advertise for the role with a basic salary of between £110,175 and £134,659.

It said: “The size, scale and complexity of this role combined with the challenging financial climate, and the need to establish a new normal following Covid, indicates the salary band for this role is set at the right level to fulfil these leadership requirements.”

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The role of chief finance officer is the only executive position which is not shared between the city council and Cambridgeshire County Council, with both authorities having separate post-holders.

Recruitment to the role in Peterborough has been delayed “due to the focus on the budget setting process in 2020/21 and then more recently the impact of Covid,” the council said.

But it added: “Whilst temporary arrangements have provided a short-term solution, permanent recruitment now needs to be progressed to provide stability and allow consideration to be given to how the wider finance team strategically operate to support the council’s business.”

The role is currently being filled by Peter Carpenter.

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