Suffolk County Council appoints new £170,000 chief executive

Suffolk County Council's new chief executive will be paid about 20,000 more than Theresa May
Suffolk County Council's new chief executive will be paid about 20,000 more than Theresa May

A council has appointed a new chief executive on a salary higher than the Prime Minister.

Suffolk County Council has chosen Nicola Beach as its new boss after unanimous backing from its Staff Appointments Committee and a full council meeting.

She is to be paid £170,000 a year, about £20,000 more than Prime Minister Theresa May.

Last month the Conservative run county council hiked its rates by 4.99 per cent and backed £23.9m of cuts.

Ms Beach, who is currently executive director of infrastructure and environment at Essex County Council, is to join the authority in the summer and will replace Sue Cook who has been the council's interim chief executive since September.

The new chief executive said: "I am delighted to be appointed as Suffolk County Council's chief executive. I have lived in Suffolk for many years and love this county.

"I am also passionate about delivering great services to local people and I look forward to joining a strong team at the county council and working with councillors, residents, colleges and partners."

Last year the authority spent £32,000 on trying to recruit a new chief executive, only to find nobody it considered suitable for the role.

Cllr Colin Noble, the county council leader, said: "We are hugely ambitious for Suffolk. We want it to be a place where businesses thrive, children and families can flourish and people can grow older in good health.

"But that won't just happen - we need first rate people leading our public services. In Nicola, I am confident we have found such a person.

"I very much look forward to working with Nicola in the coming months to continue delivering essential public services and overcoming the financial challenges we are facing."

Suffolk County Council has over 5,000 staff and an annual budget of around £450 million which is used to deliver public services like adult social care, children's services, and road maintenance.