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New Highland Council chief to review services

By Jenna Conti

Chief executive of HC Steve Barron.
Chief executive of HC Steve Barron.

THE NEW chief executive of Highland Council intends to carry out a review of its services after he formally took charge today.

The authority’s former depute chief executive and housing director Steve Barron has moved into the top job at its Inverness headquarters filling the shoes of the previous incumbent Alistair Dodds.

One of the best paid jobs in the Highlands, Mr Barron will draw a salary of £140,000 in the role and is now in charge of 8,000 staff.

Mr Dodds has retired after six years as the council chief executive.

Mr Barron said he would spend the next four months reviewing the way services are delivered..

"As a new chief executive it’s natural that I should take a short time to consider how the council should move forward," he said.

"There are tremendous opportunities ahead for the people of the Highlands and the main challenge of my job is to make sure we capitalise on these opportunities. There is nowhere else I’d rather be."

A panel of 10 senior Highland councillors appointed Mr Barron in June after an a national recruitment drive costing £5,000.

Three other people, one of whom was an internal candidate, were vying for the senior position.

Mr Barron’s previous role as the director of housing and property is being filled on an interim basis of four months by Tracey Urry, the council’s housing manager for Inverness, Nairn and Badenoch and Lochaber.

Mr Barron, a father-of-three from Inverness, joined the council in 2008 and had previously worked as a managing director for Robertson Facilities Management, in the city, for eight years.

He also spent 13 years in the NHS in Lothian and the Highland, where he was head of facilities with the former Highland Primary Care Trust.

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