WIRRAL Council’s chief executive Jim Wilkie is set to take early retirement after just over a year in the top job.
Mr Wilkie was appointed to lead the management of the council in April 2011. He had taken over as interim chief executive following the early retirement of his predecessor Steve Maddox.
Before that the 58-year-old was the authority’s deputy chief executive, a job he started in October 2010.
Mr Wilkie has been off work in recent months, with the council’s director of finance Ian Coleman standing in acting chief executive.
The council now faces a search for a new chief executive after a turbulent few years which have seen several damning reports in to its management and governance.
In April the authority revealed it had appointed top local government troubleshooter Michael Frater to provide “senior management support”.
An improvement board of senior councillors and members of the Local Government Association has also been overseeing much of what takes place at the town hall, while the department of communities and local government is understood to be “monitoring” Wirral’s progress.
The newly-elected leader of the council Phil Davies said improving the council’s governance was one of his key priorities and even created a special cabinet post of “improvement and governance”, held by deputy leader Ann McLachlan, to push that agenda.
In a statement released last weej Bill Norman, the council’s director of law, said: “The chief executive of Wirral council has formally requested early voluntary retirement.
“His request will be discussed by the employment and appointments committee on Thursday June 7.”
The report to the employment and appointments committee recommends approval of Mr Wilkie’s request and “release of his pension on the grounds of efficiency of the service”.
It said: “The cost to the council of the early release of the pension is £95,728.98. This will be paid back over a five-year period with interest, in total £111,054.48.”
Before joining Wirral council, Mr Wilkie spent four years working for St Helens council, initially as the assistant director of community leisure before progressing to assistant chief executive.
Before that he worked for Strathclyde regional council and Clydebank and Monklands district councils.