As part of plans for BCP Council coming into existence on 1 April 2019, Full Council in Poole on 19 February is expected to pay tribute to the public service of Chief Executive Andrew Flockhart. Members will be asked to approve arrangements arising from the redundancy of the role in readiness for the council itself ceasing to exist after 31st March.
Andrew joined the Borough of Poole in 1996 as a member of the new senior management team which created the new unitary council successfully in 1997. Andrew went on to lead work on town centre regeneration, the construction of the Twin Sails Bridge, changing the Age of Transfer for schools, investing in the expansion and improvement of Poole schools, the development of new housing and the improvement of customer services. Andrew took on the Chief Executive role in 2014. Most recently he has also been one of the key people driving the plans for the reorganisation of local government in Dorset and the creation of the new BCP Council.
The economic development experience Andrew brought with him from his work as Assistant Chief Executive at Wolverhampton MBC and in business as a consultant to the government was invaluable in helping the Borough of Poole deliver its priorities and improve the lives of local people.
Andrew said: “Poole is a unique and beautiful place. The Borough of Poole is unique too. It is driven by a purpose and values that run through services, staff and councillors like words in a stick of rock. It has a wonderful combination of capabilities which have enabled it to manage an extraordinary period of change. I am proud of the way that Councillors and officers work together in a dynamic and progressive way to deliver services, plan for the future and attract unprecedented levels of investment to Poole.”
He added, “I have enjoyed my whole career and especially my time as Chief Executive at Poole. I have put my heart and soul into Poole for more than 20 years. I believe firmly its future is bright and it will continue to thrive and prosper alongside its neighbours. Supporting the Council to make big decisions, building relationships with partners in all sectors and leading our amazing staff has been a real privilege. All of our work together will help secure a better future for Poole and ensure that its unique qualities can be enjoyed by future generations.”
Prior even to the Secretary of State’s decision to implement LGR in Dorset, the business case contained specific reference to a reduction in senior management posts, and profiled appropriate funding to cover any costs associated with this. The BCP Shadow Executive Committee subsequently approved £1.5m to be set aside to cover such redundancy costs. This is in the context of many millions of pounds expected to be saved by BCP Council in the first few years alone.
Borough of Poole Full Council is considering a report on 19th February, setting out the arrangements for the redundancy of its head of Paid Service, a statutory role fulfilled by the Chief Executive. The agreement proposed will incorporate an amount equivalent to the costs of redundancy after 27 years in the public sector, contractual notice pay and compensation for loss of office, pension liabilities and statutory rights amounting to £75,335.
Borough of Poole Council Leader Janet Walton said: “Andrew is the epitome of a first-class public servant. He has unfailingly put the needs and interests of Poole and its residents first. He has constantly advocated the interests of Poole, our residents and our council at local and national levels. I feel extremely privileged to have led a council with the support of Andrew in the role of Chief Executive. I know that his efforts will ensure that Borough of Poole hands over the reins to BCP Council in a smooth, orderly way with seamless service provision for our residents. I would like to wish Andrew a long and happy retirement.”
The new Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council launches on 1 April 2019, and will see the Chief Executives of Borough of Poole and of Christchurch Borough Council, and the Managing Director of Bournemouth Council, replaced by one single senior role - Chief Executive for the new Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. Graham Farrant took up this role on 1st January, after a competitive recruitment process which took place in September.