Posted: 20.11.20 at 13:09 by The Editor
THURROCK Council's new Corporate Director for Adults, Housing and Health will be Ian Wake, who steps up from this role as the council's director of public health.
Mr Wake has won widespread respect in the borough for his work since joining the authority and was particularly praised for his work on the ‘Case for Change’ report which laid down the provision of primary, community and mental health services, health improvement services and adult social care to Tilbury and Chadwell residents in a central and integrated way.
And he was among those who backed the government’s initial strategy for dealing with coronavirus earlier this year when he spoke up to endorse what later proved to be a controversial video about pandemic control and why a lockdown should not be imposed!
He said: “This is a brilliant way of explaining the government/PHE's 'delay' phase of the COVID-19 strategy and the importance of sticking to PHE advice.
"We cannot prevent an epidemic; what we need to do is manage transmission rate. Introduce too stringent controls on population association too early in the epidemic and we will simply create another peak in infections going into the autumn/winter when the NHS is less likely to be able to cope."
His selection for the post which carries a salary of at least £135,000, was made following interviews by a short-list of candidates with a stakeholder panel that included two senior directors of the council and the authority's General Services Committee, which made the final decision.
Council leader Cllr Rob Gledhill and his deputy, Cllr Shane Hebb, did not attend the General Services Committee - which was chaired by its vice chair, Cllr John Kent.
The same selection process with the final approval of the general services committee also saw the appointment Gerard McCleave as the newly appointed permanent Assistant Director Economic Growth and Partnerships.
That position had been the subject of some controversy. Initially the £75,000 a year role had been advertised as solely to run the High House Production Park at Purfleet but, after a rebellion by some councillors, that plan was vetoed and the scope of the appointment broadened.
Mr McLeave has recently been a director of Belfast-based regeneration and economic development advisors Melior Fortius and prior to that was a director of Metro Dynamics in Manchester.
Several years ago he was a director of the Ilex Urban Regeneration Company set up by the Department for Social Development (now part of the Department for Communities) and the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers (now The Executive Office) to promote the physical, economic and social regeneration of Londonderry in Northern Ireland which closed its doors in early 2016 after a controversial time duiring which it had five chief executives in 13 years and clashed about overspending without approval from the government departments which set it up.
Ilex finally closed its doors in early 2016. Recently some of its directors received a hefty compensation payout after trade union Nipsa successfully argued its members who lost their jobs had been unfairly treated.
Both appointments still need to be ratified by next week’s full meeting of the council.
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