Hull's chief executive steps down

THE HEAD of legal services at controversy-racked Hull City Council has been assigned to hold the fort as chief executive following the shock resignation of the incumbent head.

Nigel Pearson, director of law and administration, became acting head of the town clerk and chief executive's department after Darryl Stephenson's departure last week.

As successor to Stephenson, Pearson is bound to share the continuing flak over the city council's plans to keep its nine chief officers in position after it merges with Humberside County Council next April.

Hull, acting on the advice of Anthony Scrivener QC, plans to contradict previously accepted guidance that posts which are duplicated in the move to unitary status should be readvertised.

The council is also planning to see whether the "Scrivener advice" can be applied to 600 other duplicated posts.

Most of the transition work will fall to John Deeming, director of environmental services, who will act as lead officer of the corporate management team.

Stephenson is understood to have shocked councillors when he announced his departure for the East Riding authority. His £88,000-a-year job will be readvertised, but whoever is appointed will remain in place after next April.

Pearson, a solicitor of 14 years' experience in local government, will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the council. He has been at Hull for 10 years and was previously with Wigan council.