New council directors cost almost £350,000

Olga Murtagh was appointed Director of Place and has been in her role since March this year.
Olga Murtagh was appointed Director of Place and has been in her role since March this year.

Four new directors are to be appointed to Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council at a cost of almost £350,000.

These strategic directors, two of whom have been appointed already, come soon after the three former councils merged.

A Council spokesperson said as it is the largest council outside Belfast it was imperative it had the structure and capacity to deliver on the ambitions of councillors.

The spokesperson said it was agreed to have four directors when the council was established and to fill three of the posts in the first year with moves towards filling the fourth later.

The salaries range from £81,989 - £87,047 per annum. “This is an all-inclusive salary which is reflective of the responsibilities of the post and the additional hours of work required.

“The total number of Directors in the legacy councils was 12 and in accordance with employment rights legislation and agreed protocols the existing Directors were invited to compete for the new posts. Sharon O’Gorman was appointed as the Director of Position and Olga Murtagh appointed Director of Place. Both have been in post since March 2015. The services in these Directorates range from Planning, Building Control, Estates and Assets Management, Community Planning to Economic Development, Regeneration and Tourism Arts and Culture.

The Strategic Director of People which is responsible for services including Environmental Health, Leisure, Environmental Services and Community Development, is being filled in a short term interim basis on the same salary band.

“It is anticipated that the process to fill the Strategic Director of People and the Strategic Director of Performance posts will start in early 2016. In the meantime the Chief Executive is overseeing the responsibilities of the Performance Directorate.”