A NEW interim chief executive has been appointed at Caerphilly council.

Chris Burns, the assistant chief executive at Carmarthenshire County Council, was last week unanimously chosen by the authority’s appointments committee as the new interim chief executive for an initial 12 months.

It follows Stuart Rosser’s decision not to continue in the role. Mr Rosser was appointed to the post on July 23 last year with an initial six-month contract in light of criminal proceedings against top council officers. In January, it was extended for a further six months.

The position was advertised as an interim contract for 12 months with an option for a further year at a salary of £142,524, which is at the bottom of the arranged financial scale.

Mr Rosser had informed the authority that he is prepared to bridge the gap between the appointment of the successful candidate, and their ability to begin their job at the council. Members voted in favour of this motion, meaning Mr Rosser will remain in his role until Mr Burns, a former employee of Caerphilly council, takes over.

Thirteen applications were handed in to the council, with five candidates being shortlisted. This number was reduced to three as two applicants later withdrew from the process.

Caerphilly council’s chief executive Michael Anthony O'Sullivan, 55, of Merthyr Tydfil, deputy chief executive Nigel Barnett, 51, of Aberbargoed, along with head of legal services Daniel Perkins, 48, of Brynmawr, are each on bail charged with misconduct in public office between June 1, 2012 and October, 10, 2012.

The three, who appeared at Bristol Crown Court in May, are charged with preventing proper scrutiny of the senior officer pay award.

A provisional date of January 5, 2015, has been set for a trial if not guilty pleas are entered.

Avon and Somerset Police began investigating Mr O’Sullivan and Mr Barnett, currently suspended, after pay rises of up to 20 per cent were made to top council officers.