10 November 2010

A paper to be discussed at a meeting of Northamptonshire County Council’s full council next week (18 Nov) recommends the permanent appointment of Dr Paul Blantern as chief executive.

Paul’s appointment has been recommended by an appointments committee made up of Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors.

Council leader Jim Harker said: “Paul has demonstrated, at a time of great challenge to the public sector, his ability to perform the role of chief executive and lead our organisation. I’m delighted with the recommendation and the consistency it offers our workforce and partners. I look forward to discussing it at next week’s meeting.”

Paul was appointed to the role of interim chief executive in May 2010 from his post of corporate director of customer and community services. The paper proposes to continue not to fill the corporate director position pending a review of the council’s organisational structure, resulting in an annual saving of £169,000.

In addition, if Paul’s appointment is approved, his salary will be at the bottom of the pay grade and there would be additional savings in savings from the recruitment and selection process of around £40,000.

The report to full council can be viewed on the council’s website http://cmis.northamptonshire.gov.uk/CmisWebPublic/Binary.ashx?Document=8249

Additional information:

Dr Blantern joined the council on an interim basis in 2008 and in September that year was appointed as corporate director for customer and community services where he was responsible for a wide range of customer–facing services including libraries, country parks, adult learning, fire & rescue and the customer service centre as well as support services such as HR and IT.

Paul was also the driver behind the council’s innovative shared services partnership with Cambridgeshire County Council to deliver backroom services in a much more professional and cost-effective way.

Before joining Northamptonshire, Paul was director for customer services at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.

Paul started his career in the private sector, rising to become managing director of the commercial arm of Severn Trent plc. He has worked with a number of major utility, business and public sector clients, delivering significant improvements through a range of projects at a strategic level, including company creations, de-mergers and large scale re-engineering projects, including the creation of Network Rail.