Sefton Council Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson

Sefton Council’s new Chief Executive is due to be appointed at the full council meeting this Thursday (20th April 2023). 

It follows the announcement by current chief Dwayne Johnson on 23rd January that he will retire, stepping down from the post he has held since 2019.

The approved salary for the post is £155,279 to £170,615 per year and is subject to Market Supplement in accordance with the existing Pay Policy.

Councillors will be given the opportunity to vote on the salary for the post, as it is over £100,000.

Recruitment consultant firm Starfish conducted an executive search for suitable candidates on behalf of Sefton Council. 

The role was advertised in the Municipal Journal, print and on-line edition, and associated media, the Guardian on-line, social media outlets, Sefton Council’s website and Jobs go Public. 

Sefton Council’s Employment Procedures Committee will meet the morning before Full Council. 

Following the conclusion of the final interviews, it will then be for the Employment Procedures Committee to recommend a candidate for appointment as Chief Officer to go before Full Council. 

The search began on 1st February when the Employment Procedure Committee (EPC) met to conduct the selection process for the recruitment of a new Chief Executive. 

The Committee met to consider and approve the wording of the job description, person specification, recruitment timetable, job advertisement, and terms of offer and salary. 

The option of using a recruitment agency to assist in the executive search to support the recruitment process was approved. 

Technical interviews were held by the Chief Executive and a former Chief Executive from another local authority. 

It was agreed, in consultation with the Chair of the EPC, who had demonstrated the relevant knowledge, skills and experience for progression to the recommended shortlist. 

On 30th March the Committee met to consider and approve the shortlisted candidates. 

On 18th April the shortlisted candidates participated in a one-to-one interview with Sefton Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher, stakeholders, Cabinet Members, One Council and Making a Difference (MAD) representatives, and a Round Table group exercise observed by EPC members. 

This Wednesday (19th April) a formal interview process will take place. 

Following the conclusion of the final interviews, it will then be for the Employment Procedures Committee to recommend a candidate for appointment as Chief Officer to go before Full Council on Thursday (20th April). 

Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher, as Chair of the Employment Procedure Committee, will provide a briefing on whether a recommendation is being made and approval being sought by Full Council for the appointment of a successful candidate with a salary range of £155,279 to £170,615 per annum, subject to the provisions within the Pay Policy. 

Following the recommendation, the Council has an opportunity to vote on such salary being over £100,000. 

The Council will be requested to confirm the formal appointment of the recommended candidate as the Council’s new Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service, subject to consideration of any material or well-founded objection by any Member of the Cabinet, and the standard pre-employment checks. 

In January, Dwayne Johnson announced he will retire.

He has overseen some huge Southport investment projects, including the progression of the new £73 million Marine Lake Events Centre; the £1.5 million Southport Enterprise Arcade; and the £1.4 million transformation of Southport Market into a new food, drink and events venue.

He has worked in local government for over 40 years and started out as a Care Assistant in County Durham and worked for a number of Councils in the northeast. Dwayne has worked in local authorities across the Liverpool City Region, first in Knowsley then Halton, before finally arriving at Sefton in 2015 as Director of Social Care and Health, and became Chief Executive after the Council’s previous CEO, Margaret Carney, retired in 2019.

Dwayne Johnson said:

“Sefton is a very special place, and it has been an enormous privilege to work here to serve the fantastic people of Sefton.

“All of my colleagues across the Council have been amazing, and I always felt an immense sense of pride of having the privilege to lead such a wonderful workforce.  

“I would like to thank all colleagues and members for their hard work and dedication, and for making my time at Sefton so enjoyable.”

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