Manchester City Council's new chief executive to be paid £220k as hunt for Joanne Roney's replacement begins

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The city’s top boss is moving on after more than seven years at the town hall.

The hunt is on for Manchester council’s next chief executive, who will be paid £220,982, it’s been revealed.

The six-figure wage is the same package as current top boss Joanne Roney’s. Ms Roney announced last week that she would return to her hometown of Birmingham to take up the new role of managing director at the city’s troubled authority.

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Birmingham City Council effectively declared bankruptcy last year, leading to a swathe of cuts and eye-watering council tax rises for Brummies. Ms Roney, who started her career as an apprentice in Birmingham council’s housing department at age 16, will now begin to serve out a lengthy notice period in Manchester.

She worked her way up the ranks of local government until she took the top job at Wakefield council in 2008, where she stayed for nine years. In April 2017, she started her position in Manchester — and had to steer the city through the Manchester Arena bombing just one month into the role.

Joanne Roney is moving on to Birmingham City Council Joanne Roney is moving on to Birmingham City Council
Joanne Roney is moving on to Birmingham City Council | Manchester City Council

After that, she also oversaw the council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 — with the latter being the year Manchester had its first change of council leader this millennium. Richard Leese effectively retired from his post that he’d held since 1996, with Coun Bev Craig taking up the reins of leading the largest Labour group in the country and one of Britain’s largest cities. In 2022, Ms Roney was named Municipal Journal Chief Executive of the Year in 2022, a well-respected award in the local government world.

Now, with her notice period beginning, Manchester will officially launch its hunt for her replacement on Friday, at a meeting of its infrequently-held personnel committee. The search is the only item on the agenda.

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A report for councillors has now revealed how much the new chief executive will be paid: “The current Chief Executive role profile will require some minor changes to update it, but the main responsibilities of the position have not changed and the job evaluation for the position will confirm that the role will continue to be paid at a spot salary of £220,982, with a pay award pending from April 2024.”

The search will begin with establishing a ‘sub-committee of [the] personnel committee to act as an appointment panel for the purposes of recruiting and appointing a chief executive’. The sub-committee’s first job will be ‘to appoint an executive search company with expertise in senior local government recruitment to assist the council to identify suitable candidates to apply for the role and to work alongside the council’s HR team to manage aspects of the recruitment process’, the report adds. 

After shortlisted candidates have completed a series of assessments and job interviews, the sub-committee will recommend a new chief executive who will need the approval of a majority of councillors to take up the job — but this is usually considered a formality. Ms Roney’s resignation follows the loss of deputy chief executive Carol Culley, who was city treasurer, and the retirement of director of public health David Regan in March.

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