One of the most senior members of staff at Powys Council is set to depart, leading to calls to reintroduce a head of education to the authority.

Powys County Council has confirmed that Vanessa Young, the director of transformation and resources, will depart in November.

She is one of three directors who sit just below chief executive Dr Caroline Turner in the organisational structure, and during the coronavirus pandemic chaired the daily Gold command meetings, which decided the council’s strategic direction during lockdown and the first stages of its relaxation.

Council leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris said: “We are very sorry that Ness Young will be leaving Powys County Council later this year.

“A number of options will be considered during the autumn to ensure that the senior leadership team has an appropriate mix of skills, experience and talent to meet the future needs of the council.”

Her departure has led Plaid Cymru group leader Cllr Elwyn Vaughan to request that the council takes a fresh look at senior management posts and reduce costs.

Cllr Vaughan said: “In my mind there has been more of a need for a director of education which would focus on our young people.

“The post costs the authority around £140,000 a year, a substantial amount and one which needs to be justified. It’s something to consider.”

The role of director of Education was one of several that was deleted by interim chief executive Dr Mohammed Mehmet, when he shook up the leadership structure in early 2018.

The reorganisation saw senior management roles slimmed down from 24 to 16 in a bid to save £1 million.

A former director of the NHS Confederation, Ms Young was appointed to her role at Powys Council in January 2018.

Ms Young has an extensive working history in local government having been the corporate director of resources and section 151 officer at Bridgend Borough Council and director of resources at the Welsh Local Government Association.

Ms Young has also worked for the Welsh Government and UK Government civil service.