New £150,000 joint chief executive set to be appointed to lead Waverley and Guildford councils

By Emily Coady Stemp   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Monday 1st November 2021 1:35 pm
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Guildford Borough Council chief executive James Whiteman (left) did not apply for the joint post, leaving his Waverley counterpart Tom Horwood as the sole candidate ()

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A TOP job with a £150,000 salary working as a chief executive for two Surrey councils could be filled this week.

Guildford and Waverley borough councils will vote tonight (Monday) on the appointment of Tom Horwood, current chief executive at Waverley Borough Council, in a staff-sharing move that aims to save money for the authorities and protect front-line services.

The move will see him take an £18,023 pay rise for taking on a second authority.

Guildford Borough Council documents said: “Our collaboration programme with Waverley Borough Council will deliver cost savings and protect or enhance front-line services in priority areas.”

The salary for the position of joint chief executive for Waverley Borough Council and Guildford Borough Council is set at £150,000.

In 2020/21 the Guildford managing director’s salary was £135,715, costing the council a total of £168,255 after including costs such as pensions and expenses, according to the borough council’s draft statement of accounts.

At Waverley Mr Horwood, who started working at the council in 2017, is earning £131,977 and costing the council £154,859 with pensions contributions added in, according to the council’s annual reports.

Mr Horwood will earn £10,000 less than Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who currently takes in £161,401 per year.

Contract terms and conditions have been agreed by both full councils, but the new joint chief executive will remain an employee of Waverley Borough Council.

A leaving date for James Whiteman, the current Guildford managing director, is yet to be confirmed but he is expected to stay until December to complete a handover. Mr Horwood will then be subject to a four-week trial period.

On July 6 this year Guildford council agreed to look at the options for collaborating with Waverley Borough Council and after a two-day process, including an external stakeholder panel, and advice from South East Employers, Mr Harwood was selected for the job. He cannot receive a job offer until both councils have voted to approve it.

Minutes of a Guildford Borough Council joint executive advisory board meeting in June said: “There was an urgent requirement to identify any and all potential savings that could assist with bridging the budget gap over the next few years.

“Savings delivered to date included a reduction in staffing costs of £4.3 million through the Future Guildford programme.”

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