Temporary council chief Darryl Stephenson is the 'ideal man for a challenging role'
ONE chief executive officer out, one interim lead officer in.
It has been quite a week at Hull City Council.
The sudden and unexpected departure of Nicola Yates from the Guildhall last weekend certainly raised eyebrows.
Her exit was officially described as being mutually agreed between her and the ruling Labour administration.
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But reports of a breakdown in working relations between Ms Yates and some Labour figures persist.
Meanwhile, Darryl Stephenson is set to fill the void, albeit on a temporary basis. He starts in the job tomorrow.
The surroundings will certainly be familiar.
He was chief executive at the city council in the early 1990s, perhaps best known for spearheading the campaign for unitary authority status alongside former council leader Pat Doyle.
Then, with the campaign won, he moved to Beverley to become the new-look East Riding Council's first chief executive.
Although he retired from the role as East Riding chief executive in 2005, he also spent time as an interim chief executive at North East Lincolnshire Council in a similar troubleshooting role to the one he is about to take up in Hull.
He also worked for the Standards Board for England and more recently has been carrying out a part-time role as clerk to the Humber Bridge Board. He has been heavily involved in negotiations with the Government around writing off part of the bridge's historic debt, reducing the tolls and restructuring the board.
City council leader Steve Brady said he believed Mr Stephenson was the ideal person to step into what is expected to be a challenging job.
He faces having to map out a shake-up of senior management posts, which was started but not completed by Ms Yates.
His brief is also expected to explore the possibilities of sharing more staff and services with East Riding Council, going beyond the existing joint arrangements covering issues such as planning, waste management and tourism.
Councillor Brady said: "The reality is that by 2018 we will have lost 40 per cent of our funding compared with what we received as a council two years ago.
"We have got to look at new innovative ways of working.
"This is a time when we can take stock, examine the options open to us for the future and determine our path going forward.
"This council has a number of dedicated and skilled senior officers with a wealth of experience and ability that can be relied upon to ensure that our business, focus on our customers and our valuable partnerships continue as normal."