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More senior appointments to executive leadership team at Highland Council

By Andrew Dixon

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Stuart Black.
Stuart Black.

Highland Council has made two more appointments to new posts of executive chief officer.

Stuart Black takes up the role in transformation and economy later this month and Kate Lackie will cover performance and governance immediately.

A trio of executive chief officers – Liz Denovan (resources and finance), Carron McDiarmid (customer and communities) and Lesley Weber (health and social care) – were appointed earlier this year.

The roles are part of a new structure of the council's senior management.

Each post commands a £91,196 salary.

The council has reduced senior and middle management posts in recent years saving more than £3.5 million and is now "reducing management layers further".

There will be an executive chief officer appointed to three other posts covering education and learning; property and housing; and infrastructure and environment.

Mr Black is currently the council's director of development and infrastructure. He joined the council in 2008 and has been responsible for major projects including the delivery of the Inverness West Link road and is the lead officer for the £315 million Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal.

Prior to this he held senior appointments with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and was lecturer in land economy at Aberdeen University.

“I am looking forward to this new role and continuing to drive forward the sustainable economic development of the Highlands which has been the motivation for my career for the past 30 years,” he said.

Ms Lackie was previously the business manager for the council's chief executive office.

She has been a member of the council’s senior management team for more than 10 years during which time she has led a variety of policy and legislative initiatives.

“I feel very excited and privileged to be taking on this new role at such an important time of change for the council and I am really looking forward to working with colleagues, members and communities to drive forward the council’s improvement agenda,” she said.

A council spokeswoman said: "The new senior appointments will each have responsibility for a geographical area which will help to enhance local visibility and enable the council to become better connected to communities at a local level."

The remaining executive chief officer posts are set to be filled in autumn.

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