Earlier this week Guido Fawkes published what seemed to be a segment of the minutes from a North Lanarkshire council meeting. The original PDF link on Guido’s blog no longer seems to work. The council told Journalism.co.uk that this information about appointments is always made public (see end of post).
Guido speculates who the people were on the shortlist for the position of head of corporate communications and marketing at the council. Could it be that five senior figures in Scottish journalism were up for the role?
FleetStreetBlues suggests – probably based on the minute – who the final candidate was, while this report from February 1 over on AllMediaScotland suggested the new head is Sunday Herald deputy editor Stephen Penman. (Update – Deputy editor of the Scotland on Sunday, Tom Little, has now confirmed to Journalism.co.uk that he was offered the job but turned it down, and Stephen Penman has confirmed that he will be taking up the position in April.)
North Lanarkshire Council supplied Journalism.co.uk with this statement from Gavin Whitefield, chief executive of North Lanarkshire Council:
“It is this council’s practice to ensure transparency and accountability in all aspects of our business – including the recruitment process for Chief Officer posts. For that reason we have always included the names of shortleeted [sic] job candidates, and of successful applicants, in the minutes of the Appointments Committee, which deals with Chief Officer appointments. Although we have not received complaints about this practice in the past, we do keep our processes under review in response to comments and experience.”
Update: Journalism.co.uk asked the council why, if the material had been intended for publication did the link not work? “In light of the concerns raised in relation to this post, we consider it appropriate to remove the minute from the council’s web site and we will review our practice for the future. The web site is being amended today and the appropriate section is therefore temporarily unavailable. It should be available again later today,” Gavin Whitefield, Chief Executive, said.