Search for new council boss as ‘contenders’ are acknowleged

Andrew Lowe, Director of Social Work.
Andrew Lowe, Director of Social Work.

scottish Borders Council will set up an appointment committee next Thursday to recruit a new chief executive following the decision of David Hume, incumbent for the past nine years, to retire, writes Andrew Keddie.

Discussion of the process to find a replacement for Mr Hume, 58, will be taken in public during a meeting of the full council at Newtown, starting at 10am.

Arrangements for an acting chief executive to step into the breach will also be discussed, but in private business, although leader David Parker has already indicated that directors Tracey Logan (resources), Glenn Rodger (education) and Andrew Lowe (social work) will take turns in the role until a chief executive is appointed permanently in October.

Mr Lowe, who recently became the new president of the Scottish Association of Social Work Directors, was praised at the last council meeting by vice-convener Councillor Ron Smith for his performance as a professional adviser in the appointment of service directors in the States of Jersey.

Writing from St Helier, Anne Pryke, deputy minister for health and social services, told Councillor Frances Renton, SBC’s executive member for social work: “Andrew brought exactly the independent advice and reflection that we wished for and the whole interview panel enjoyed working with him on what were important appointments to us.

“As an island community, we welcome the fresh perceptions and professional contributions that colleagues in the UK can bring us and the support of the Borders is so much appreciated.”

Mr Smith thanked Mr Lowe for the “praise and kudos” he had brought to the region.

Meanwhile, Mr Rodger has been appointed to a new 15-strong commission on rural education in Scotland.

The body, which will be chaired by Highland sheriff Donald Sutherland, will look at how the delivery of education can maximise the life chances of young people in rural areas.

It will also examine the link between schools and rural communities and will make recommendations to the Scottish Government by next spring on the delivery of all aspects of education in rural areas, from pre-school to higher and further education.

Mr Rodger will take his place alongside other education professionals, teachers, parents and councillors.