COVENTRY council chief executive Martin Reeves is to finally return full-time to his highly paid role after being replaced at the West Midlands Combined Authority.
The new regional body has appointed its first permanent chief executive – Deborah Cadman, currently chief executive at Suffolk County Council – who will release Mr Reeves from his interim WMCA chief executive role.
Mr Reeves’ dual role for both Coventry council and the WMCA since last year has been controversial, as highlighted by the Coventry Observer.
Opposition councillors had complained that Coventry council taxpayers were remunerating him with a £175,000 salary for a full-time job – yet he was being seconded at least two days a week to the combined authority.
Mr Reeves and Labour council leaders argued the role in developing the new regional body was important for Coventry and Coventry City Council – one of seven councils with full membership of the WMCA.
The WMCA, in announcing the appointment of Ms Cadman, added: “Martin will ensure a smooth handover with Deborah and then return full time to his Chief Executive role in Coventry in September.
“.. Deborah has held a number of senior posts in her career, including Chief Executive of the East of England Development Agency and Chief Executive at St Edmundsbury Borough Council in Suffolk.
“She was born and bred in Birmingham and attended the University of Birmingham.
“Deborah has a degree in politics as well as a master’s degree in economics. She was awarded an OBE for services to local government in 2006.”
She said: “I am delighted to have been offered the post of Chief Executive at the WMCA. This is such a fabulous moment in time for the West Midlands and is an irresistible opportunity to work alongside our newly-elected mayor and bring greater prosperity to a region I know so well.
“I will be taking the reins over from Martin Reeves who has been amazing as Interim Chief Executive, whilst maintaining the same post at Coventry City Council. Martin is an incredibly hard act to follow and I am indebted to him for all his visionary work to date.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “After a robust recruitment process, I am thrilled that Deborah has agreed to join the WMCA as our Chief Executive. I was keen that we considered only the very best candidates for this important post and Deborah was the strongest candidate in an excellent field.
“She will bring a great energy to the role as well as a natural enthusiasm for the region. She also has a strong track record in developing and maintaining relationships with a range of partners and stakeholders. This will be essential as we keep momentum going with central government to bring further powers and responsibilities from Westminster to the West Midlands.”