Statement regarding role of chief executive

Birmingham: Interim chief executive Chris Naylor will be leaving the City Council on 6th March following the conclusion of his secondment and will be returning to his employer Barking and Dagenham.

Cllr Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Chris has completed a significant amount of valuable work as interim Chief Executive over the last eight months. This includes the development of a strategy that will help improve outcomes for our citizens and ensure that the City Council remains on a firm financial footing in the face of continued pressure on our resources.

“We are going to continue with the plans as set out in the ‘Investing in our Future’ report which was recently endorsed at Cabinet. This provides a clear road-map to where we want to be as an organisation and what we need to do to get there.

“We intend to appoint an interim Chief Executive who it is envisaged will remain in post to take us beyond both next year’s local elections and the Commonwealth Games. This will provide much needed stability at a critical time. A permanent recruitment will begin after next year’s local elections in May.

“The reason for delaying a permanent recruitment is that we have been advised by the Local Government Association that there is not a pool of candidates currently available in the market that would be suitable to undertake the role on a permanent basis.”

Current adult social care director Graeme Betts will act-up into the role of Chief Executive pending the appointment of an interim, having previously undertaken the role last year at the start of the pandemic.

Chris Naylor said: “I have enjoyed my time at Birmingham City Council, but I now need to return to Barking & Dagenham as the secondment agreement with the city has concluded. I would like to thank the Council Leadership, senior colleagues, staff and partners in Birmingham for their support.

“In a short space of time, under the most difficult circumstances, we have achieved a great deal including:

•    Setting an ambitious 10-year vision and plan for the Council to guide what happens next.
•    Balancing the books this year and next.
•    Continuing to lead the emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic and getting rates of infection down across the city.
•    Maintaining and sustaining improved relationships with government and partners across a range of issues from the Commonwealth Games, investment in homes and infrastructure         and health and social care.
•   Taking proactive steps to tackle historic inequalities within the council particularly as they relate to race and sex.

“Whilst there are emerging, immediate challenges linked to the pandemic that will need to be overcome, this is also an incredibly exciting time for the city with a number of significant opportunities on the horizon, most notably the Commonwealth Games. I’ve come to love the city over the last year and will look for opportunities to support Ian and the council in whatever way I can, now and in the future.

“I wish everyone working at the City Council all the best for the future.”

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