Paid-off ex-council chief lands new role

A former council chief 
believed to have received a six-figure pay-off five years 
ago has returned to a Northumberland authority in 
a new role.

Geoff Paul, who was Chief Executive at the former Blyth Valley Borough Council, received a reported figure of over £250,000 when the 
authority was scrapped in the re-organisation of local 
government in 2009.

Now he has made a return to local government after being appointed to a senior role within Northumberland County Council.

Mr Paul has been given the newly-created post of Director of Planning, Economy and Housing.

He was formally appointed last Friday, but has been working for the council in an interim position since January. The county council formally approved the creation of the job, with a salary 
of around £110,000, earlier this month.

However, it came under fire from opposition members who complained it was just months since the council reduced the number of senior figures to cut costs.

Conservative Group Leader Peter Jackson said: “I still question whether this role should have been created at that level of seniority and at that level of pay.”

A spokesperson for the authority said: “The council is delighted to confirm the appointment of Geoff Paul as Director of Planning, Economy and Housing.

“His previous experience at a senior level as a Chief 
Executive, combined with his business experience over the past five years in setting up his own company, will 
be of great value to the council as it continues to drive 
forward the economic growth of the county.”