The current Chief Executive is Allan Oldfield who came into post in January 2012.
The chief executive is the senior officer who leads and directs the work of the approximately 250 permanent and temporary paid staff of the council, who run the local authority on a day to day basis.
The role of the chief executive works closely with elected members to deliver the following:
- Leadership: working with elected members to ensure visible leadership and direction, encouraging and enabling managers to motivate and inspire their teams
- Strategic Direction: ensuring all staff understand and adhere to the strategic aims of the organisation and follow the direction set by the elected members
- Policy Advice: acting as the principal policy adviser to the elected members of the Council to lead the development of workable strategies which will deliver the political objectives set by the councillors
- Partnerships: leading and developing strong partnerships across the local community and regionally to achieve improved outcomes and better public services for local people
- Operational Management: overseeing the financial and performance management, risk management, people management and change management within the council
The role of Chief Executive is a full time appointment. Post holders are selected on merit, against objective criteria and are appointed by the whole Council. A panel of Councillors assess the ongoing performance of the Chief Executive on an annual basis.
By law, senior Council staff are not allowed to participate in any party political activity and are expected to advise and assist councillors irrespective of their political affiliation.
Advice on the remuneration for the Chief Executive is taken from the North West Employers Organisation for local government, which carries out benchmarking and comparisons with similar posts in both the public and private sectors.
The Chief Executive is paid on a scale that starts at £83,934 and ends at £93,699. This scale has been frozen since 2008. Like other Council staff, the post of chief executive is subject to formal annual appraisal and on-going monitoring in this case with senior elected members, where performance in the role is discussed, key objectives and priorities are clarified along with timescales for achievement.
The Chief Executive is able to reclaim the actual expenditure incurred on a limited range of legitimate and evidenced business expenses as a result of performing his/her responsibilities, including business travel for the use of his private car.
The post of Chief Executive is part of the Local Government Pension Scheme, which is a contributory scheme. This means that the employee contributes to the scheme from his or her own salary. Employees contribute 4.5% – 7.5% of their salaries. The contribution to the pension fund by employers varies depending upon how much is needed to ensure benefits under the Scheme are properly funded, and is set independently. The rules governing the pension scheme are contained in regulations made by Parliament.
The Chief Executive contributes 7.5% of his salary into the Local Government Pension scheme.