NNDC to review management after three leading officers resign

North Norfolk District Council is considering its future management structure following the resignation of three leading officers.

Chief executive Sheila Oxtoby, Karen Sly, the section 151 officer, and Julie Cooke, the head of organisational development, are leaving to take up roles within Great Yarmouth Borough Council, which has been sharing services with NNDC since November 2015 under an interim arrangement.

Mrs Oxtoby is to become the new full-time chief executive in Yarmouth, having filled the post part-time during the arrangement. The two other appointments had also been shared staff.

Great Yarmouth’s full council met on September 8 to decide next steps after it looked likely that NNDC would vote at full council on September 21 not to continue with the interim shared arrangements. Councillors at Yarmouth voted unanimously to offer the position on a full-time, permanent basis to Mrs Oxtoby and the two other officers.

NNDC is now planning a review of its staffing and business to consider its future management structure.

Leader councillor Tom FitzPatrick said: “We received notice of resignations from the three officers concerned yesterday. North Norfolk had entered into the interim shared management arrangements on the basis of good faith, openness and transparency.

“I have now written to GYBC Council Leader ending the interim shared management agreement in order that North Norfolk can focus on the handover to the new management structure we will need to put in place.

“As an authority North Norfolk remains totally committed to delivering on our four-year plan for our communities and that’s where our focus will remain.

“Cabinet believes that as an authority North Norfolk District Council requires its own dedicated management team. We will carry out a strategic management review to ensure we can deliver the programme of work we are elected to deliver and the savings we need.”

In a joint statement, councillors Graham Plant, Kay Grey and Trevor Wainwright said: “During their 10 months at Great Yarmouth, these three officers have done exceptional jobs, working well with existing staff to support the ambitions of the council and the borough. Sheila, as chief executive, has proved both a genuine ambassador for Great Yarmouth and an experienced strategic thinker.”

Mrs Oxtoby said: “I am honoured to be offered this position at Great Yarmouth. During the last 10 months, I have been impressed by the ambition and dedication of Great Yarmouth’s councillors and officers to deliver for communities. There are many exciting opportunities ahead for the borough and I look forward to working on a full-time basis with councillors and officers to make the most of these for residents and businesses.”

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