Council chiefs set to retire

Three members of the senior management team at the City of Edinburgh Council are to retire.

Over the next fifteen months, Chief Executive Tom Aitchison, Director of Corporate Services Jim Inch and Director of Finance Donald McGougan will leave the Council after a combined 113 years' service.

Work to recruit a new chief executive will begin in April with a cross-party group of councillors making the final decision in August or September. It is hoped that the new Chief Executive will be in post before Christmas giving him or her the opportunity to influence the budget process and prepare for the 2011 Scottish Parliament Election.

Tom Aitchison said: "In 36 years of public service, 16 years of which has been as a chief executive, I have witnessed enormous change in Edinburgh and have been proud to work with so many dedicated members of staff who have helped the Council achieve a great deal over the years. I have also greatly valued the partnership approach in Edinburgh, embracing both the public and private sectors.

"Although I am announcing my retirement at this stage, I remain committed to the Council and focused on ensuring that we continue to provide services of the highest quality while dealing with the many challenges that face us."

A paper setting out the retirement and succession arrangements will be considered by the Council's Policy and Strategy committee on Tuesday 23 March. 

Notes to Editors 

1. As Tom Aitchison is intending to retire three months before his 60th birthday there will be a one-off "pension strain" cost of £14,600. This is not a payment to him but an amount that the Council will pay to Lothian Pension Fund to compensate for payment of his pension before his 60th birthday and is in line with the regulations of the pension scheme. 

2. Tom Aitchison is 59. His service at his intended retirement date of December 2010 will be 36 years. He began his career at Lothian Regional Council. He is accountable for the work of over 19,000 staff who run the Council on a day-to-day basis - Edinburgh is the second largest council in Scotland and the eighth largest unitary council in the United Kingdom.

3. Jim Inch is 62. His service at his intended retirement date of January 2011 will be 37 years. He began his career with the Edinburgh Corporation before joining the Lothian Regional Council. He is responsible for professional support services including legal, HR, ICT and communications, policy development, and culture and sport.  

4. Donald McGougan is 59. His service at his intended retirement date of May 2011 will be 40 years. He began his career with Midlothian County Council, before spells with Edinburgh District Council and Falkirk District Council. He is responsible for financial strategy and management in the Council, including managing the Council's £1billion budget and that of its joint boards.  

5. All three joined the City of Edinburgh Council at local government reorganisation in April 1996.

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