The Office for Civil Society has appointed Mark Fisher as its new director. Mark, who was previously the social justice director at the Department for Work and Pensions, will replace Helen Stephenson. In his new role, Mark will also be the head of the Government Innovation Group at Office for Civil Society.
Prior to the Department of Work and Pensions, Mark also worked as chief executive of the Sector Skills Development Agency and has been a director of the Work Programme contractor Working Links. He was appointed CBE in the 2010 New Year Honours list.
Carole Hudson, chief executive of St. Helens Council, has confirmed that she will retire in March 2015 after spending 23 years in the post.
Hudson, who was elected as chief executive in 1991, was influential in securing millions of pounds of Whitehall and European development cash to support vital local infrastructure projects, such as the M62 Link Road, Technology Campus, Saints’ Langtree Park stadium and St Helens’ Central Station. She also played a leading role in the North West and Liverpool City Region. She was awarded with the CBE in 2007 for her services in these regions.
Cllr Barrie Grunewald, Leader of St. Helens Council thanked Hudson for her loyal service to the borough, saying: “The last four years have been extremely challenging during the austerity programme and she has worked hard alongside our politicians to manage the council well, having to make significant budget cuts and at the same time ensuring that the council can continue to deliver its statutory responsibilities.”
Rotherham Council has appointed Emma Hoddinott as its new deputy leader of the council. As part of her portfolio, Hoddinott will also be a member of an improvement board at the council. Hoddinott was appointed to the newly formed cabinet following a child abuse report released by Professor Alexis Jay against the council.
Hoddinott, who has been a Labour councillor in Rotherham for the last two years, insists that the council has lessons to learn from the report. She said: “We have to learn from our past – really learn from it – for our town to move forward. The report makes clear the culture of the council has to change. We have begun a long journey and I will take that forward in my new role.”
Rotherham Council announced that its children’s services director, Joyce Thacker, resigned by mutual agreement and with immediate effect. Thacker, who was on sick leave, was under pressure to step down following a child abuse report released by Professor Alexis Jay against the council.
The report had stated that the council’s senior managers had underplayed the scale of the problem and police also failed to prioritise it. After the release of the report, Thacker had stated that she was appalled at the scale of the abuse and offered her sincere apologies to those who were let down by services in the past, adding there were simply no excuses.
Rochdale Council’s acting chief executive, Linda Fisher, will resign from her post to start a new role at Wigan Council. Fisher, who has been temporarily heading the council since May 2014, will become Wigan Council’s new assistant director of legal services.
Fisher had initially started working for the council as its head of legal services, but was made the acting chief executive after former chief executive Jim Taylor moved to Salford city council.
On her departure, council leader Cllr Richard Farnell said: “Linda is a committed officer and she has led the council through some difficult times. She has delivered some important projects, most lately a huge budget to make major savings which through her skill we are hoping to do with minimal impact on the public.”Fisher will remain in her role at Rochdale until a full-time replacement is found.
Carmarthenshire council has announced that its chief executive, Mark James, will step down from his post. James, who has been chief executive of the authority since 2001, has applied for a voluntary severance package as a part of his resignation. The council stated that it will consider the application over the next three to four months in line with other applications received from the staff to date.
James is expected to remain in post until the application has been considered by the council.
Pendle Borough Council announced that it will eliminate its chief executive post, in a bid to save £4m over two years. This move will make current chief executive, Stephen Barnes’ role redundant by March 2015. Barnes, who has worked for the council since its inception 40 years ago, is often praised for his “unmatched dedication to Pendle” by all political parties.
The council is also planning to make the deputy and other senior staff redundant as a part of the costs savings scheme.
Richard Harbord, chief executive of Boston Borough Council, resigned from his post citing personal reasons. In his resignation, Harbord stated that he is unable to provide the right support to the council as he has been struggling with family health issues. Peter Bedford, leader of the Council, said it was a great loss for the council.
He said: “It comes at a difficult time as we approach an election. I am grateful to Harbord for all he has done for the Council over the last 5 years.”
The House of Commons announced that the Queen has reappointed former Cambridge MP David Howarth as an electoral commissioner. Howarth’s primary responsibility will be to ensure a fair and proper running of elections in the country. The Queen often recruits the chair of the Electoral Commission and other electoral commissioners at the request of parliament.
Howarth, who is a Liberal Democrat, previously served as a commissioner from October 2010 to September 2013. Prior to that, he served as the MP for Cambridge until 2010, after holding the post of leader of Cambridge City Council and local councillor for 17 years.
Events like the recent Paralympics are a great reminder of the importance of accessibility and ensuring equal and open access for all. ... read more
As part of our series on the Cloud, Adam Evans, Partnership Director from Agilisys recently caught up with Sean Green, Head of ICT at Tower Hamlets and Independent director of London Grid for Learning to talk about the potential of the London SuperCloud, and how it can help to deliver public services more effectively in the capital.