Pembrokeshire County Council have been criticised by one of its own members after an appointment of a new chief executive with ‘no track record’ in a local authority role.
PCC confirmed Will Bramble CBE as its new CEO at an extraordinary meeting last week (March 31), who will take over from Richard Brown who has been the Authority’s interim chief executive since the end of November.
Mr. Bramble, currently a Major General with the British Army, will join the Authority upon release from his military duties.
He has an extensive career in the British Army and NATO, leading organisations and operations in the UK and abroad, and his most recent role has been as the Senior British Officer in Italy and Deputy Commander of the NATO Corps in Italy.
However, Clr. Paul Dowson, who represents the Pembroke Dock Central Ward on the county council, has stated that he opposed the appointment of someone with ‘no track record’ in this type of role.
“Myself and Clr. Steve Joseph were the only ones to oppose this appointment - as Mr. Bramble was the only candidate with zero experience in local authority,” remarked Clr. Dowson.
“The senior staff committee dismissed all other applicants putting him forward alone with no other candidate to challenge for the post.
“He has no experience in local authority having spent his career entirely in the military.
“I feel that the massive responsibility that comes with this role and the salary level requires more than just one candidate at the final stages.
“Clr. Josh Beynon and Clr. Di Clements both stated ‘give him a chance’ - but I’m afraid at this level you don’t give someone a chance especially one with no track record in the job!
“The candidate was strong but the post should have been re-advertised and he should have been put forward for the final round when others were competing for the job too. I wasn’t prepared to make a decision on an option already chosen by the senior staff committee and presented to full council for approval,” continued Clr. Dowson.
Mr. Bramble was appointed following an extensive recruitment process the authority has stated, culminating in a presentation and interview at an extraordinary meeting of Council.
Following the appointment, PCC’s leader Clr. David Simpson, said: “Will has impressed throughout the application process and, as evidenced throughout his career, will bring fresh focus, leadership and drive to the Authority.
“I look forward to welcoming Will to Pembrokeshire in the coming weeks and working closely alongside him to keep improving public services and making the lives of Pembrokeshire people better.
“I would also like to add my thanks and the thanks of the Council as a whole to Richard Brown for his service as Interim Chief Executive - he has led and steered the Council admirably.”