Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen Council to share Chief Executive Officer

Posted on: Wednesday 12 June 2024
Stephen Vickers, Torfaen CEO

This week councillors at Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen Council agreed to become the first local authorities in Wales to share a Chief Executive Officer.

At a special meeting of Blaenau Gwent Council today it was unanimously agreed by councillors for the Council to work more closely with Torfaen Council, and to share a Chief Executive Officer responsible for both authorities.

This followed approval at a full meeting of Torfaen Council held on Tuesday.

The current Chief Executive of Torfaen, Stephen Vickers, will fulfil this role across both Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent for an initial period of up to nine months.  Damien McCann, Blaenau Gwent’s current interim Chief Executive, is due to retire later this month.

An intense discovery phase will now take place over the nine-month period to explore the potential benefits and challenges of the two authorities working more closely together with a mandate to:

  • seek efficiencies by optimising resources that can work at scale.
  • increase innovation and creativity.
  • and share best practice.

Both councils’ will maintain political and financial sovereignty with each authority maintaining its own county plan, leadership team and governance structure.

Stephen Vickers, said: “Both councils face similar challenges and significant financial pressures over the next few years and want to stay one step ahead to address these challenges.

“This innovative way of working will help explore a wide range of opportunities that could arise from closer working, and I believe there is significant potential to enhance both council’s resilience, efficiency, and opportunity to innovate further.

“My role is a full-time CEO working across both councils and not a part-time CEO or a step towards a merger of the two councils, but it could mitigate against the very real financial and operational risks faced by both councils.

“Critically both councils are demonstrating a real ambition to improve services for residents and see this role as a route to sharing organisational skills, resources, and expertise as a critical way of achieving this.”

A further report will be received by both councils at the end of the discovery phase to outline further opportunities.

Last Modified: 12/06/2024 Back to top