New contract for Hull City Council's stand-in chief Darryl Stephenson
INTERIM city council chief executive Darryl Stephenson is set to be handed a 12-month full-time contract at the authority.
The deal is expected to be confirmed at a full meeting of the council on Thursday.
Originally appointed on an initial three-month contract worth £600 a day, Mr Stephenson has subsequently been given a series of one-month extensions.
The longer deal is likely to allow him to oversee the completion of a major restructuring exercise at the council.
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At the same time, he will also be expected to push through changes to historic locally agreed terms and conditions for staff, including higher-than-average car mileage and overtime perks.
Both measures are aimed at easing a funding squeeze at the council, which is estimating an £8m budget shortfall next year.
Extending Mr Stephenson's spell at the council will also give councillors more time to decide on a successor.
One option favoured by some is to run the authority without a chief executive altogether.
Mr Stephenson was originally hired through his own consultancy company after the shock departure of former chief executive Nicola Yates in the summer.
The move allowed him to continue pursuing other business interests, including his role as clerk to the Humber Bridge Board and as a visiting professor of public sector management at the University of Hull Business School.
But the decision to hand him a 12-month contract at the Guildhall will mean he will become an official employee of the council.
In a statement, the council said: "The initial appointment of Darryl Stephenson as a consultant chief executive officer was done, as is usual, through a consultancy firm.
"That has benefits to the council in that no pension or national insurance costs are incurred.
"If approved at the next full council meeting, Mr Stephenson's extended appointment as chief executive would confirm him in post as a council employee.
"The consultancy firm's management is not a matter for the council."
Last month, Mr Stephenson said the council could opt not to replace him.
"What I did in the new structure was put the post of chief executive in a department of one," he said.
"That will give elected members the choice of whether they want a full-time chief executive or not in the future.
"My personal view is that council chief executives will disappear over the next ten years because of the strong council leader model.
"It's already happening in some local authorities.
"If you want something doing you do not go to the chief executive, you go to the council leader. That's quite right because they are democratically elected representatives of the public.
"It's been the policy of successive governments to promote the idea of a strong leader, whether it's a city mayor or a council leader."