Cornwall Council Chief Executive to leave in March
Kevin Lavery to take up new role in New Zealand
Cornwall Council's chief executive Kevin Lavery has confirmed that he will be leaving the council at the end of March 2013 to take up a new role as chief executive of Wellington City Council.
Lavery has been appointed for five years on an annual salary of NZ$400,000 - equivalent to approximately £203,000, according to Western Morning News. His current salary at Cornwall Council is £245,000.
Lavery joined Cornwall in November 2008, having previously served as CEO of Serco Solutions, and before that, as BT's Director of Local and Regional Government.
Lavery was believed to be a strong supporter of Cornwall's proposed £300m outsourcing joint venture with BT, which would have seen BT run a variety of council and NHS services.
However, in December 2012, a full session of Cornwall council voted to reject the deal, opting instead for a 'thin joint venture', meaning that only part of the original plan will go ahead, with progress to a contract expected in the coming weeks.
The proposed contract has been controversial since it was first advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union in March 2011, and was partly responsible for a decision by councillors in October 2013 to replace joint venture advocate Alec Robertson with the more sceptical Jim Currie as leader of Cornwall Council.
However, in a recent interview with the Dominion Post, a newspaper published in Wellington, Lavery said that Cornwall and Wellington are in very different predicaments, adding that Wellington was "in a "great position to grow" and free of most of the financial strain" that had forced Cornwall to consider privatisation.
In a statement posted on Cornwall Council's website, Lavery said, "This was a very difficult decision to make as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as the Chief Executive of Cornwall Council and am sorry to be leaving the authority and Cornwall.
"When I was appointed in November 2008, the new unitary council was facing a number of challenges. I said then that I wanted to build a distinctive council that reflected Cornwall's proud heritage and culture. A council that was delivering high quality services and great value for money and which was meeting the needs of local residents.
"Four years later I am proud to say that, despite the additional challenges created by the financial situation, we are well on the way to achieving this aim and I am confident that we have the right foundations in place to create a bright future for the council and for Cornwall.
"I will be taking up my new role at the end of March and over the next few weeks will be working with Members and the leadership team to make the necessary arrangements for the transition.
Council Leader Jim Currie said, "When Kevin was appointed as the first Chief Executive of the new unitary council, many described his role as an impossible task. However he has successfully led the authority through the unitary process and the consequences of the dire economic situation into which we have been plunged.
"He is a towering figure who has not been afraid to make difficult decisions. However, while he will undoubtedly be missed, he has left behind a strong management team and an experienced and knowledgeable set of elected Members."