People on the move – April 2014

Council boss to leave top post

Bob Jack, Stirling Council’s chief executive is voluntarily retiring from his post. He is leaving the post after spending after five years at the helm of the authority. Jack’s early retirement is considered to be part of a major overhaul of the authority’s management team.

However, members believe that there will be a net reduction in the overall cost of senior management once the restructure is introduced. The council has also set up an appointments panel with a shortlist of candidates to recruit a new chief executive by May 2014.


New director for environment and the economy in Dorset

Dorset County Council has appointed Mike Harries as its new director for environment and the economy. In his new role, Harries is responsible for economic development, highways, countryside and property management.

Harries joined Dorset County Council in 2003 as the head of property management division and served as deputy director for environment since 2007.

He began his career in the farms department of Savills before joining the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (now DEFRA). He entered  local government through Lincolnshire County Council while working with their county farms estate team.


Nick Bennett appointed public service ombudsman for Wales

The National Assembly has approved Nick Bennett as the new public service ombudsman for Wales. Nick is slated to take over responsibilities from Peter Tyndall, who has held the office since April 2008. Bennett will now have legal powers to investigate complaints about public services in Wales such as councils and health boards.

Prior to this role, Bennett was the group chief executive of Community Housing Cymru, which represents housing associations. The National Assembly chose Nick from a group of four candidates.


Gloucester City Council Chief Executive Julian Wain to leave after seven years

Julian Wain, Gloucester City Council’s chief executive has resigned from his post after spending seven years at the helm. Wain’s departure comes as a part of the council’s new cost-saving plan to make the chief executive’s post redundant.

While Wain was chief executive, he oversaw several projects to regenerate the city, including schemes at Gloucester Docks and the Railway Triangle.

As a part of the plan, Wain’s responsibility has been taken over by two corporate directors – Martin Shields and Peter Gillett.


Former British Chamber boss David Frost takes over at Staffordshire LEP

David Frost has been confirmed as the new chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. Frost’s appointment comes after the LEP submitted its strategic plan for £780 million over a six-year period to 2020.

Many civic leaders are claiming his appointment to be a coup.

Frost was previously the director general of the British Chamber of Commerce. He received an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University in February 2008 and was awarded a CBE for services to business in the 2011 New Year Honours List.


New MD for Norfolk County Council

Norfolk County Council confirmed Canadian-born Dr Wendy Thomson as its new managing director at a full council meeting. Dr. Thomson is slated to take up her responsibilities from August 2014. She was previously the chief executive of the London Borough of Newham.

Prior to Norfolk County Council, she was the director of the School of Social Work at McGill University in Canada. She was awarded a CBE for her work on public service reform. Dr. Thomson has also worked as director of best value inspection at the Audit Commission and was founding director of the Office of Public Service Reform.


Leadership group makes appointments

North East Combined Authority confirmed the members of its East Leadership Board. The board will be chaired by Durham member Simon Henig, with Vice Chairman Mick Henry, of Gateshead, and Norma Redfearn, of North Tyneside. Northumberland member Grant Davey is expected to lead employability and inclusion at the association.

The board was created by the North East Combined Authority, which consists of councils in Northumberland, Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland. The new board will be responsible for stimulating economic growth, job creation, skills development and transport links.


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