Council approve recruitment of 100k per year Freeport Executive
Neath Port Talbot Council have agreed to start the recruitment process for the role of Chief Executive for the approved Celtic Freeport bid at this month’s full council meeting on July 12.
The role, which was said by officers in attendance to be worth over 100k per year, could now be advertised as soon as August, with the successful candidate for the position being decided towards the end of the year.
The successful Celtic Freeport bid was set up by Associated British Ports, alongside Neath Port Talbot Council, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Port of Milford Haven in 2022.
It gained government approval in March 2023, to supply floating offshore wind turbines at a site in the Celtic Sea, as well as developing green energy research and tax breaks for inward investing companies in the area.
Members in attendance at the meeting heard how the “pivital role” of chief executive will initially be overseen by Neath Port Talbot Council, though will later on revert to the control of the Celtic Freeport Board as soon as it is established early in 2024.
They also heard how similar positions advertised by already existing
Freeports in England had attracted salaries in excess of £110k per annum, however the final salary for this post will also be determined by the Celtic Freeport Project Board.
The report read: “There is a requirement to now progress the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive of the Celtic Freeport, and it is anticipated that such a process could take up to six months to facilitate, when matters such as advertisement, interview and requisite employment notices are considered.
“Accordingly, it is proposed to establish the post of Chief Executive – Celtic Freeport post within the established structure of Neath Port Talbot Council, acting as employer on behalf of the constituent parties of the Celtic Freeport. Neath Port Talbot Council is the Accountable Body of the Celtic Freeport hence the reasoning behind this Council undertaking the process on Celtic Freeport’s behalf.”
Labour Leader for Neath Port Talbot, Rob Jones, however questioned why there was no member involvement with the recruitment process, and said there needed to be more clarity in the proposals on the the timeline of the appointment.
Officers responded by offering to update the timeline in the report, with a successful candidate expected to begin the role in conjunction with the setting up of the Project Board in February of 2024.
By BBC LDRS
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