Shetland Islands Council has a shortlist of five candidates for its chief executive vacancy, with convener Sandy Cluness remaining hopeful that an appointment can be made before the start of June.
The shortlist was drawn up by local authority umbrella group Cosla and Munro Consulting, whose representative Ken Dalgleish met a panel of seven councillors appointed to oversee the recruitment process yesterday.
Mr Cluness said there was more work to do before interviews could be carried out, with Cosla and the consultants going through the backgrounds of each candidate. “It’s early days, but I’m hoping we’ll have some real information to put out before the end of the month,” he said.
The appointment will be on a temporary two-and-a-half year basis to carry the council through until after the next set of council elections in May 2012. Mr Cluness said the candidates were all “folk who meet the criteria” set out by councillors last month, which included experience working as a chief executive in another local authority, passing a “best value” audit and having “an affinity” with islands.
Outside help was sought by councillors for what is seen as a crucial appointment in trying to restore harmony to the SIC following the £250,000 tax-free pay-off of former chief executive David Clark in February. Following Mr Clark’s stormy nine-month tenure, executive director of services Hazel Sutherland has been standing in for the past three months.
Those sitting alongside Mr Cluness on the panel are Florence Grains, Robert Henderson, Bill Manson, Gary Robinson, Cecil Smith and Allan Wishart.