A new senior role could be created at Reading Borough Council (RBC), earning the officer up to £152,000.

In new plans to restructure the senior management team at the council, a deputy chief executive role would be created, replacing the director of resources position.

And the council is also planning to create a new chief finance director role to replace the currently vacant Director of Finance position.

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The council's Personnel committee will vote next week on whether to approve the plans, which would see the deputy chief executive earn a maximum salary of £152,430 and the chief finance director earn up to £120,392 per year.

The director of resources role – held by Jackie Yates – would be removed, with Ms Yates expected to take over as deputy chief executive.

The following diagrams show the current structure and the new proposal.

A restructure at RBC took place as recently as January 2019, but the report states: "Since this time, there has been a growing need to strengthen capacity further to address issues within the borough around social inclusion, anti-poverty and the 'levelling up' agenda".

The report adds that there is currently no single post with overall responsibility and accountability in this "complex area", with the remit shared within several senior posts.

Officers consider it "essential" to designate one of the executive director posts as overall lead for this agenda and have chosen the executive director of resources post which already has a corporate-wide remit.

The deputy chief executive would take on the chief executive's statutory functions when they are absent.

The chief executive at RBC currently has a salary of £166,765.

Currently, Ms Yates is also the designated statutory chief finance officer and Section 151 officer.

But under the plans, the new chief finance officer would take on the section 151 officer role.

New chief finance officer role after failed job applications

In April 2020, the assistant director of finance left the organisation.

The post was filled on an interim basis initially due to the pandemic situation.

It was advertised nationally in September 2020 at the current assistant director salary level of up to £96,000 per year but, despite receiving 31 applications, the council said "none were of a high enough calibre to proceed to final interview".

RBC has sought advice from external recruitment consultants, all of which have said the salary and responsibilities of the role are not sufficient to attract the quality of candidates the council is seeking.

The recruitment consultants recommended a salary of between £115,000 to £120,000 per year in order to attract candidates undertaking similar level roles in unitary authorities and London Boroughs.

They also recommended designating the section 151 officer duty to the role to help attract high quality candidates.

The report adds: "It is absolutely essential to appoint a suitably qualified and experienced senior officer into this role given the significant budget challenges facing the council.

"Whilst there has been good progress, there is still significant work needed to transform and raise the skills and capability of the function, implement a new finance system, and complete the accounts for 2018/19 and 2019/20."

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The overall number of posts at senior management level will remain the same, while the total additional costs of up to £38,335 will be met from within existing salary budgets.