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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Former Cumbria council chief lands £12k a year part-time job

A former council boss whose early retirement sparked a political row has taken up a £12,000-a-year part-time job with Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust.

Jill Stannard photo
Jill Stannard

Jill Stannard takes up her new post as a non-executive director on April 1.

The appointment comes less than a year after Mrs Stannard, 55, took early retirement from her previous £170,000-a-year post as chief executive with Cumbria County Council. Some politicians were highly critical of her terms of leaving, which left her entitled to a generous local government pension.

Pension rules for local authority employees with 40 years’ service potentially give them a retirement income of half their final salary, plus a lump sum.

A council spokesman at the time said Mrs Stannard had not been given a “golden handshake” and only what she was entitled to.

But the deal so infuriated Carlisle MP John Stevenson that he raised it with Prime Minister David Cameron in Parliament.

Mrs Stannard began her career as a mental health social care worker.

A spokeswoman for the Partnership Trust said she has a wealth of experience in social care, leadership and leading transformational changes. Her appointment was approved last week following what officials say was a rigorous recruitment process overseen by the governors’ nomination committee.

Mrs Stannard said: “I’m really excited about being given the opportunity to go back to my roots.

“I’ve spent 20 years working at the edge between social care and communities and I’m looking forward to using that experience to make a difference at Cumbria Partnership.”

Mike Taylor, chairman of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are absolutely delighted and extremely lucky to appoint an applicant with the skills and experience that Jill brings as we improve the quality of care we offer to our patients across the county.”

Mrs Stannard’s term of office will run from April 1 until January 2017. Her appointment was made as the current non-executive director Julian Whale comes to the end of his time, after serving two terms.

Mr Taylor also paid tribute to Mr Whale for his work over the last six years.

When the row erupted last year, the then-county council leader Eddie Martin said the early retirement would save the authority almost £200,000 a year and he was critical of Mr Stevenson.

“They are all quoting hundreds of thousands – they are wrong,” he said.

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