Updated: Friday 2nd March
We understand that the Chief Executive of Shepway District Council (SDC), Mr James Alistair Stewart, to give him his full name, will be stepping down from his post at the end of this month. He has served as SDC Chief Exec for the last 13 years. Mr Stewart has elected to take voluntary redundancy. His redundancy was agreed by a meeting of full council on Wednesday 28th Feb 2018.
Mr Stewart was hired by Shepway District Council in 2004, when SDC was in financial dire straits, due to Liberal Democrat mismanagement. The irony is the Lib Dem’s took part in the first interview, then resigned on mass when the financial mess came to light. It was in the second interview panel, headed up by ex Cllr now Alderman Robert Bliss, who hired him.
Within 3 years of stepping into his post Mr Stewart (pictured) and then leader Robert Bliss together transformed SDC. Officers and Cllrs began working together as a team and the distrust evaporated. Between them they brought in equal pay and turned around the Council’s fortunes.
In July 2016 Mr Stewart suffered a heart attack but after a month was back at work. Regardless of what one thinks about the dark arts employed by Mr Stewart in his position, he has led Shepway DC to its present position. It may not be one we all agree with, but he and his officers have taken us there.
We would like to wish Mr Stewart all the best in what ever he does in the future and we hope the loves of his life, Elgin City & Scunthorpe Utd both do him proud.
SDC have removed from the Constittion para 2.1.4 at Part 8 page 8/21; which states:
The post of the Head of Paid Service will always be subject to external advertisement.
This means that SDC can choose from internal Candidates. We’d like to see Dr Susan Priest (pictured above left) take the top job, but no doubt the new boy on the block, John Bunnett former CEO of Ashford Borough Council (pictured) may well be in with a shout too. Of course Tim Madden the s151 Officer and Corporate Director for Organisational Change(pictured above right) may also be in with a shout. That said it could be somebody completely new.
We’ll bring you that story when we know.
The Shepwayvox Team