Cornwall Council appoints Kate Kennally as new CEO

Since Andrew Kerr took the highroad and left Cornwall Council for Edinburgh City Council, the Council has been seeking to replace him via a recruitment process. That recruitment process has now been completed.

KateFrom a shortlist of four, Kate Kennally, who is currently the Director People at Barnett Council, has been appointed as Cornwall Council’s new CEO.

Her current role at Barnett has the responsibility for commissioning a wide portfolio of services including public health, children and adult services and community services such as leisure and libraries.

Her start date has yet to be confirmed because of working her notice at Barnet, but I expect Kate to take up post in the new year.

Congratulations to Kate on your appointment, and welcome to Cornwall Council.

Intrim Head of Paid Service is appointed by Cornwall Council

As most people will know, the hunt for a new CEO at Cornwall Council is on since the soon to be departing CEO, Andrew Kerr is heading up North of the border to become Edinburgh City’s new CEO.

A local authority by law needs someone in either a CEO position, or alternatively, a Head of Paid Service. Today at Cornwall Council’s full council, the Leader announced a Head of Paid Service had been appointed from the current Senior Leadership Team (CLT).

This position has been given to Trevor Doughty until a new CEO is appointed and in post. For those who do not know, Trevor is the current director of both children’s and adult services. Having worked with Trevor for the last two years, he is a very capable officer and will steer the ship well with his fellow CLT colleagues until the new CEO is in post.

The Leader has issued a statement and it is as follows:

“Dear Members

As you know the Council is about to formally advertise for a new Chief Executive to replace Andrew Kerr who leaves this week.

As the recruitment process will take some months to complete, the Member Selection and Appointment Panel, which I chair and which is responsible for the recruitment, made a recommendation to the Council today about what arrangements we should put in place pending a new Chief Executive taking up their appointment.  The Panel’s recommendation to Council was informed by feedback from the Council’s Corporate Leadership Team and has their endorsement.


I am pleased to confirm that the Council agreed the recommendation of the Panel which was to appoint Trevor Doughty as Interim Head of Paid Service with effect from Monday 27 July 2015.  The Head of Governance and Information will take over the role of Electoral Registration Officer and Returning Officer in the interim period.


In this role, which does not carry the full range of accountabilities of the role of Chief Executive, Trevor will operate as the ‘first amongst equals’ within the Corporate Leadership Team (CLT).  Each of the Corporate Directors, including Trevor, will retain their strategic and operational responsibilities.  In addition, as Head of Paid Service, Trevor will chair the CLT.


In the view of the Panel, this collegiate working arrangement within CLT builds on existing relationships and will help to ensure that we sustain continuity and focus during the period of uncertainty that inevitably accompanies changes in senior management for any organisation. 

I am grateful for the support of the CLT for this interim management arrangement and look forward to working more closely with them in the coming months.

I would like to congratulate Andrew on what he has achieved in the 18 months he has been in post, and furthermore, wish Andrew all the success in returning home to his capital city and being its new CEO.

Fair winds to you Andrew and enjoy the ‘everything deep fried’ cuisine!

Andrew Kerr CEO of Cornwall Council set to leave

The big news of the week is Andrew Kerr, CEO of Cornwall Council has submitted completely out-of-the-blue his resignation from Cornwall. From the details I have, he is set to become the CEO of Edinburgh Council.As to the reasons why he is leaving, your guess is as good as mine….Andrew Kerr

The Leader of Cornwall Council has sent a message to all Councillors informing them:

“Today I have been informed by the Chief Executive Andrew Kerr that he will be leaving the authority to take up a new role as the Chief Executive of Edinburgh City Council.

I wish Andrew well in his new role and would like to thank him for what he has done for Cornwall.  He leaves behind a strong and committed team of officers and Members who will work together to take the Council and Cornwall forward.

Andrew Kerr will be issuing the following statement to staff :  “This was a difficult decision to make as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Cornwall but it is the right move for me at this time.  I am very proud of what the Council has achieved over the past 18 months and am confident that both the Council and Cornwall are in a strong position to move forward”.

I will now be working with Members and the leadership team to make the necessary arrangements for the transition.”



All Change for Cornwall Council’s Directors

You would have to had lived on Mars to not know the Council is facing a huge pressure on its budget. £196m is a real game changer, and by 2018 the Council you currently know will change.

The first change is to the Corporate Leadership and Directors. This means that the number of corporate directors (including the role of assistant chief executive) will be reduced from six to three.

Detailed role profiles are under development and will be a matter for formal consultation, but the broad areas of accountability for the three corporate director roles are:

Economy and the environment
Localism, business management, organisational development, community safety and protection
Education, social care and health

The new structure has been discussed with and is supported by the Cabinet. The new CEO has acted swiftly and I fully support this.

Once the appointments to the new roles are made, there will be a review of the shape and structure of services within the new directorates. This will be done in consultation with employees and their representatives.

This is the first step in a process of moving to a new shape of organisation that will be able to deliver services with less money.

Cornwall Council recommends the appointment of Andrew Kerr as new CEO

Today, Cornwall Council via the CEO Recruitment Panel has recommended the appointment of Andrew Kerr as the new CEO. Andrew is currently Chief Operating Officer at Cardiff Council and is the former CEO of Wiltshire Council.

The full council will need to approve the recommendation of the panel. Once that has (hopefully) been done, I will look forward to working with Andrew in the coming months and years.


Do you want to be the new CEO of Cornwall Council?

At the last meeting of the entire membership of Cornwall Council, Councillors voted to set up a Chief Officer’s Panel which would have the task of recruiting a CEO of Cornwall Council. Currently, the council has an interim CEO.

This panel has met twice in the last couple of weeks to determine the approach to the recruitment of a permanent Chief Executive. It is chaired by Councillor Fiona Ferguson, and is politically balanced in line with the make up of the council and the council’s constitution.


The panel has agreed that the role should be open to internal and external applicants at the same time. The panel has appointed an independent external recruitment agency to assist them, alongside the support and advice from our own internal recruitment team.

To begin the process a couple of teaser adverts will appear in the Municipal Journal (MJ) this week and next, the post will be formally advertised in the MJ and online in the first week of September, with a closing date of approximately 22 September. It’s intended the final selection process will take place over two days on 17 and 18 October.

The full membership of Cornwall Council to decide on the CEO position

At the first meeting of the new administrations Cabinet, there was a discussion on the appointment (or not) of the role of CEO. Since the last CEO left to the antipodes, Cornwall Council has had an interim CEO.  

The steer the Cabinet gave is to say the decision on whether or not to appoint a CEO is taken sooner rather than later. I made the point during the debate is if the full membership agrees to appoint a Chief Officers Panel and looks for a CEO this should be done fully. Therefore I would expect the panel to look just not internally within the Council, but external too. This way even if we do appoint an internal candidate, we can be assured we have done a through job in finding the right candidate for the Council and Cornwall.

This decision is not for the Cabinet to make, but for the entire membership to decide. All the Cabinet can do is give a steer.The full debate on this issue will be at July’s meeting of the full council.

The Last Day of Kevin Lavery

Today, is the last day of Kevin Lavery’s tenure as CEO of Cornwall Council. It has been a roller coaster ride for both staff and Councillors. It has been no mean feat to turn six local authorities and one County Council into one authority. And I think he has steered the ship well though very troubled waters.

The leaving ceremony was kicked off by one of Bert Biscoe’s poems. Then, the Chairman of Cornwall Council said a few kind words and presented Kevin with a beautiful painting. The interim CEO followed up with a few behind the scene quips.

Finally, Kevin praised the Council, its staff, its Councillors and outside partners. Which is a testament to the journey the council has taken over the last four years.

For me, I think Kevin has been a good CEO and I wish him all the best at his new authority.


And the winner is…

The wait is over as Cornwall Council has a new interim-CEO. And the winner is (two drum rolls) Paul Masters! Well done Paul.

It will be interesting to see if there are any other organisational changes post Paul’s appointment. Will Paul’s old job, Assistant CEO be advertised, or just ‘gapped’ till a decision is made on a permanent appointment for the CEO? I hope it is gapped.

Good luck to the CEO candidates

Tomorrow, and I hope and without any papal-like-smoke coming from County Hall, Cornwall Council will have a new interim Chief Executive Officer. The successful candidate will take over from Kevin Lavery once he is exported to the antipodes. It will then be up to the new council post the 2nd May to either appoint a full-time CEO, or do without.

So, who has thrown their hat into the ring? It has been a closely guarded secret in Cornwall Council terms (it’s normally out before the actual candidates know), but it can never stay secret for long in the corridors of power and the dark corners of nearby water-coolers.

The candidates are (drum roll)……

  • Paul Masters – current Assistant CEO
  • Michael Crich – Director of Corporate Resources
  • Kim Carey – Director of Adult Social Care

Good luck to them…..

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