Northampton Borough Council is set to appoint its interim chief of finance on a permanent basis until the likely move to becoming a unitary authority.
Stuart McGregor has been filling the role on an interim basis through LGSS since February earlier this year, after former officer Glen Hammons resigned.
Mr McGregor’s contract officially ran out on June 1, although there was an agreement that he would continue past that date until a permanent section 151 officer could be found.
But with Northampton Borough Council likely to be abolished in 2020 to make way for a new unitary authority for West Northamptonshire, council chiefs have decided to permanently hire Mr McGregor
His appointment on a fixed term contract until December 2019 was set to be confirmed at a meeting at The Guildhall on Thursday afternoon (August 23). Similarly to his current arrangement though, he is likely to stay on until the proposed May 2020 deadline for any new unitary authority.
There remain challenges for Mr McGregor in his new role, not least the fact that auditors are still yet to sign off the council’s latest set of accounts. And the council remains in a legal battle with former Cobblers chairman David Cardoza in a bid to recoup some of a £10.25m loan to the football club.
Councillor Brandon Eldred, cabinet member for finance, said: “As a result of the forthcoming Local Government Reform in Northamptonshire, the borough council has decided to employ a Chief Finance Officer on a fixed term basis, who is directly employed by the council, and not through LGSS or an agency.
“This officer is already in post and was appointed by the council in February 2018. The Appointments and Appeals Committee will be invited to approve the formal direct engagement between the officer and the council as a fixed term appointment, to ensure consistency for the foreseeable future.
“The latest Statement of Accounts has yet to be signed off by auditors, as some additional work needs to be undertaken to satisfy the auditor’s requirements.”