New search for Thetford town clerk to begin

A second search for a new town clerk in Thetford is due to begin before Christmas, with the help of Breckland Council.

Offers were made to two successful candidates following a round of interviews earlier this year but these fell through.

Now, the town council has asked Breckland Council to “co-ordinate” the process to fill the position which has been vacant for almost a year.

Head of Thetford Town Council’s personnel committee, Terry Jermy, who was on the panel at the last round of interviews, said an advert was due to go online by December 24, with a closing date at the end of January.

He added: “We went through the whole process earlier this year and it was very thorough and we took the opportunity to revise the staff structure.

“We very much did it in-house and all councillors were involved. This time to recruit a town clerk we felt we wanted a second opinion.

“Part of the problem was that we were inundated with applications. We had 75 enquiries when we first advertised it and we made two offers but I think people are very cautious that if they’ve got a job, as much as they want to progress and want to come to Thetford, they might need to stay where they are.

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“We had two really good people and we were really excited they wanted to work for us but one of them said it would be a risk for him as he would be relocating to the area and the second person was offered more opportunities to stay where she was.”

The vacancy arose when former clerk Ed Chambers left in January this year after almost nine years in the post.

A statement at the time from the then town mayor Derek Mortimer said that the decision had been taken by “mutual agreement”, with “both parties agreeing it was time for a change”.

Since then town manager Susan Glossop has take on the duties of town clerk.

Mr Jermy added: “As a council we’ve been very keen to support Susan as much as possible. We took on board a minute secretary and it’s partly why we’ve out-sourced this recruitment process to Breckland because frankly Susan has enough to do and it’s a huge piece of work.”

He said that a budget for re-location costs for the successful candidate had been agreed.

A Breckland Council spokesman confirmed its human recourses team would be assisting the town council in recruiting a new clerk and added: “The work will include reviewing the job description, managing recruitment advertising and supporting Thetford Town Council in the interviewing process.”