£120,000 chief executive at South Cambs - and one time executive director at Fenland and HR boss at Huntingdonshire - leaves with £220,000 pension pay out

PUBLISHED: 16:42 22 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:51 22 February 2019

Agreed statements by departing chief executive of South Cambs Beverley Agass (left) and council leader Bridget Smith. Mrs Agass leaves after 18 months with £202,500 pension pot contribution. Picture; ARCHANT

Agreed statements by departing chief executive of South Cambs Beverley Agass (left) and council leader Bridget Smith. Mrs Agass leaves after 18 months with £202,500 pension pot contribution. Picture; ARCHANT

Archant

Departing £120,000 a year chief executive Beverley Agass has negotiated a settlement with her bosses at South Cambridgeshire District Council that will include a £200,000 pension contribution to soften the blow.

Details of her ‘pension pay deal’ were revealed by the council after her sudden departure earlier this month and following secret meetings of the employment committee to review her position.

Their decision – to allow her formally to retire and to contribute £202,500 to her local government pension scheme – was ratified at an extraordinary meeting of the council yesterday.

The settlement enabled both the council leader, Bridget Smith, and Mrs Agass, to exchange post employment pleasantries in agreed statements.

Mrs Agass took over at South Cambs in the summer of 2017 after six years as chief executive of South Kesteven; she is a former executive director of Fenland District Council.

She began her career in the private sector including working for the John Lewis Partnership but in 1995 she became, for seven years, HR and organisational improvement manager at Huntingdonshire District Council.

A council statement said that Mrs Agass had been “working closely with the new

the new Liberal Democrat administration elected in May 2018 as it establishes its programme”.

Councillors agreed that Mrs Agass can leave with early access to her local government pension.

“In order for this to happen, the council will be contributing circa £202,500 into the Local Government Pension Scheme towards the cost of early retirement,” the statement added.

Mrs Agass said she had “very much enjoyed my time at South Cambridgeshire District Council”. She spoke too of her pride at “leaving such a fantastic team in place which is so motivated to serve our residents.

“I successfully supported the new administration in defining its programme and initiating the change process to enable that. I believe it is now the right time for me to hand over to a new person to lead the organisation on the next stage of its journey”.

Equally fulsome and generous in her comments was council leader Bridget Smith who thanked the chief executive for her support “in managing the transition to the new Liberal Democrat administration in May 2018.

“The council has an ambitious agenda, and this will require a change to the way the organisation is structured and led.

“The council’s business plan and detailed budget is being considered and now is the right time for new leadership to manage the implementation phase. I am very grateful to Beverly for enabling this transition.

“Beverly has had an impressive career in local government and she deserves to enjoy Director of health and environmental services Mike Hill is to become interim chief executive.

Tory opposition leader Peter Topping tweeted: “The recorded vote will show that Conservatives voted against this.

“We wish Beverly Agass well - she brought her many years experience as a local government chief executive to bear for the benefit of South Cambridgeshire Council and its residents.”

On her appointment Mrs Agass told journalists of her ambition to make the council “fit for the future”.

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