Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Appointments Committee has unanimously recommended Steve Merritt, the Council’s current Deputy Chief Executive, to be appointed as Chief Executive.
This follows the announcement that Keith Griffiths, the Current Chief Executive, will retire from the post in March 2014. The committee will make their recommendation for ratification by Full Council at its meeting on Wednesday, October 30.
County Borough Councillor Anthony Christopher, Leader of the Council said: “I am delighted that the cross party Appointments Committee has decided to recommend the appointment of Steve Merritt to Full Council.
“After a rigorous selection and interview process, I am pleased that Steve was unanimously considered as the right candidate for this hugely-important role.
“Steve has served as our Deputy Chief Executive and Group Director for Corporate Services over the last nine years, and has done a first-class job of not only managing the Corporate Directorate, but also the Council’s £469m budget.
“Steve’s ability to instil an ethos of sound and prudent financial management with this Council demonstrates that he has the right credentials to take up the role of Chief Executive and Head of Paid Services.
“As a local resident, Steve is also fully able to understand the challenges communities in Rhondda Cynon Taf face.
“Throughout his local government career Steve has shown his dedication and commitment and I am confident he will continue to deliver for the Council in this very important role.
“In these challenging financial times, when the Council is being forced to make very difficult decisions, the role of a Chief Executive is more important than ever.
“Faced with having to reconfigure the services we provide with the drastically reduced resources we have available, strong corporate management and leadership is crucial.
“Rhondda Cynon Taf Council s a massive organisation which employs almost 14,000 people, and having the right people in place to manage our services day-to-day is fundamentally important.
“Despite comments from our critics, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council operates one of the most streamlined senior management structures compared to our counterparts, with significant savings already being made in this area over the last five years.”
Steve Merrit, the current Deputy Chief Executive and Group Director for Corporate Services said: “I am proud and honoured to have been recommended for appointment as Chief Executive of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, and especially so being a person who holds our area so close to his heart.
“Whilst it is evident to all that times for our communities are particularly difficult and the financial position of both the Council and individuals are in a critical situation, this is not a time to sit back and simply wish things were better, it is a time to take up the challenge.
“I promise that I will work hard each and every day to make sure that this Council provides efficient and effective services that deliver support, protection and opportunities for all the communities of Rhondda Cynon Taf.”
Mr Merritt joined Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in 1996, undertaking a number of senior management roles including running the Council’s Housing Division and was appointed as the Corporate Services Group Director and Deputy Chief Executive in 2004.
In 1979 he started work as a scale 1 in the Accountancy Section of Rhondda Borough Council. He became a Qualified Accountant and rose to the position of Assistant Treasurer.
Born in Rhondda in 1954, Mr Merrit was educated at Tonypandy Grammar School and still lives in the Rhondda. He is married with three sons and initially worked as an engineer in the private sector with Hawker Sidley.
The recommendations of the Appointments Committee will now be presented for ratification by Full Council on Wednesday, October 30. Mr Merritt will then take up the role of Chief Executive in March 2014.