Future challenges: EDDC Chief Executive Mark Williams.

Tackling challenges facing East Devon to get full-time attention from its CEO

An arrangement that has seen EDDC sharing its Chief Executive with South Somerset District Council  is set to come to an end after five years.

Mark Williams has been carrying out the dual role since February 2010, with both authorities sharing the costs on an equal basis. The arrangement was reviewed in 2013 and the contract renewed for a further three years.

A recommendation to provide the required contractual notice to East Devon will be made to the next Full Council of South Somerset District Council  on 21 May.  Should the recommendation be agreed, joint discussions will take place between the two councils relating to the notice period and early termination of the contract.  This will include negotiations relating to a compensatory amount to be awarded to East Devon.

Timing

Commenting on the move, EDDC Leader Paul Diviani said:

Whilst the timing of this announcement is a bit of a surprise, I fully respect the right of SSDC to take decisions it considers best for its future. I know too that they will fully honour their contractual obligations to EDDC.

For my part, I know that staff at EDDC will be delighted to have Mark back at the helm and fully focused on the needs of this organisation as we navigate difficult times ahead. There is a full agenda here at East Devon and this includes the office move project, plugging a funding gap estimated to be £2.8 million over the next five years, and in particular managing the ongoing Greater Exeter, Greater Devon project in collaboration with Exeter City Council, Teignbridge District Council and Devon County Council.

Councillor Ric Pallister, Leader of South Somerset District Council, said:

Part of Mark’s role over the past five years has been to improve the efficiency of the organisation, as well as to nurture senior level talent at SSDC. This he has done and done well – and our recent award of Investors In People Gold accreditation is a visible demonstration of this.

I would like to place on record that without the help of Mark and East Devon District Council we might never have had the confidence to make this further step change and achieve the commensurate savings with the confidence we now have. We are grateful for their support.