The current Chief Executive of Merton Council is Ged Curran, who was appointed in March 2004.
The Chief Executive is the senior officer who leads and takes responsibility for the work of the 5,000 paid staff of the council, who run the local authority on a day to day basis. The role of Chief Executive is a full time appointment.
Post holders are selected on merit, against objective criteria, following public advertisement and they are appointed by the whole council.
By law, senior council staff are not allowed to participate in any party political activity and are expected to advise and assist all councillors irrespective of their political affiliation.
As head of the paid service, the Chief Executive works closely with elected members to deliver the following priorities:
Working with elected members to ensure strong and visible leadership and direction, encouraging and enabling managers to motivate and inspire their teams.
- Strategic direction
Ensuring all staff understand and adhere to the strategic aims of the organisation and follow the direction set by the elected members.
- Policy advice
Acting as the principal policy adviser to the elected members of the council to lead the development of workable strategies which will deliver the political objectives set by the councillors.
Leading and developing strong partnerships across the local community to achieve improved outcomes and better public services for local people.
- Operational management
Overseeing financial and performance management, risk management, people management and change management within the council. Mr Curran is head of the paid service, accountable for council staff and for Merton Council's budget turnover of £600 million. He co-ordinates council services, advises elected representatives and is the returning officer for elections.
The council is a large organisation. It is responsible for providing or commissioning almost 1000 separate services.
Merton Council has been rated by the Audit Commission as a four star authority which is improving strongly, the highest score any council can achieve. Its services win national awards on a regular basis as well as being praised by inspectorate bodies including OFSTED. There is always room for improvement and the authority tries hard to respond to the needs of its residents.
Mr Curran has worked in local government for 33 years. He has held board level appointments at Newham, Waltham Forest and Lambeth as well as Merton. He practiced as solicitor before moving into managerial roles. He has a law degree from Bristol University and a Master's degree from the London School of Economics. He also holds management qualifications from Oxford University and the Ashridge Management College.
Remuneration and benefits
Mr Curran's current pay is £189k per annum and he receives no performance related pay or bonuses. All managerial staff are subject to annual appraisal and progression on the scale only happens if satisfactory progress is evidenced. The Leader of the Council sets the chief executive's targets and monitors his performance with member panel to ensure independence in the process. Mr Curran does not receive any other benefits in addition to his salary.
Acting Returning Officer
Mr Curran is also responsible for running the electoral registration service. This is a duty that is separate from his job for the council (as he needs to be independent from the councillors whose election he is required to oversee and verify).
The Local Government Pension Scheme is a contributory scheme; this means that the employee contributes to the scheme from his or her own salary. Employees contribute 5.5%-7.5% of their salaries. Employers' contributions to the LGPS vary depending upon how much is needed to ensure benefits under the Scheme are properly funded, and are set independently. The rules governing the pension scheme are contained in regulations made by Parliament.
The Chief Executive pays 12.5% of his salary into the Local Government Pension scheme. The council makes an employer's contribution of 15.2% into the scheme as it does for all members of the Merton local government pension scheme.
The Chief Executive is able to reclaim a restricted range of legitimate and evidenced business expenses, including business travel.
The Chief Executive is expected to work such hours as are necessary to ensure the job gets done. Mr Curran usually works two or three evenings a week as well as the standard Monday to Friday business week. He also occasionally works weekends. His average working week is about 50 hours. The post holder is 'on call' at all other times, particularly to cover emergencies. No extra payments are made for such extended hours.
The Chief Executive is entitled to 31 days paid leave each year.
London Borough of Merton
8th Floor Civic Centre
Telephone: 020 8545 3332
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org