People on the move – February 2015

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Bury Council appoints new interim chief executive

Bury Council has appointed executive director of resource and regulation, Mark Owen, as its new interim chief executive. Owen, who will take up the role after current chief executive Mike Kelly retires in March 2015, will hold the post for six months before a permanent successor is appointed.

Owen has been with Bury Council since 1986, when he started as a deputy group accountant. He also served as chief financial services officer after spending a year as the deputy treasurer at Oldham Council in 1999. Prior to Bury Council, Owen held the post of finance trainee with NHS in the North West Regional Authority, before joining Trafford Council in 1984. He is also the president of CIPFA, the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy.

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St Helens Council appoints new chief executive Mike Palin

St. Helens Council has appointed Mike Palin as its new chief executive. Palin is expected to join the council after current chief executive Carole Hudson retires on 31st March, 2015. Palin is currently the executive director for strategic economic development at Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.

He has previously held senior positions at the North West Development Agency and the social, economic and management consultancy firm, SQW. On his appointment, Palin said, “I’m looking forward to my new role immensely and excited at the prospect of playing a big part in the St Helens story. On a personal level I’m really keen to see the borough’s communities benefit from economic growth in an inclusive way.”

St Helens Council Leader Barrie Grunewald said, “He has exactly the sort of credentials we’ve been looking for. His leadership, vision, contacts and experience will serve us well as we continue to unlock the borough’s economic potential with key projects like the Parkside development.”

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Hartlepool Council chief to retire after 44 years in local government

Dave Stubbs, Hartlepool Borough Council’s chief executive, has announced that he will retire in May 2015, after spending 44 years in local government. Stubbs is leaving the council just as the Hartlepool Vision and Regeneration Masterplan is starting to have a positive impact on the town.

Stubbs, who was born and educated in Hartlepool, joined the council as a work study officer in 1971. In his career, he has held many senior positions before being appointed chief executive in October 2012. Cllr Christopher Akers-Belcher, Leader of the council, said, “Dave Stubbs has been a very strong, loyal and committed chief executive who has helped to drive the council forward despite the extremely tough financial climate. He has proved to be an excellent appointment and has achieved so much in such a short time as chief executive.”

The council is planning to begin the process of appointing a successor in the coming weeks.

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Cannock Chase Council’s chief executive to stand down

Stephen Brown, Cannock Chase’s chief executive, has opted for an early retirement and voluntary redundancy from the council. His move comes as a part of a senior management restructuring of the council, in which the council has decided to cut the posts of chief executive officer and corporate directors, instead creating one managing director post.

This move is expected to save Cannock Council around £150,000 per annum and will be used to support the council’s forthcoming budget.

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Shared chief selected for Dorset tri-council partnership

The Dorset tri-council partnership has chosen Matt Prosser as its shared chief executive. His appointment is currently subject to approval at a full council meeting that is slated to be held on 19th February, 2015.

Prosser currently holds the post of chief executive at West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council and he is also expected to become the chief executive of North Dorset District Council, after he is confirmed to the post.

Prosser’s appointment is also the first stage of Dorset tri-council partnership’s plan to amalgamate the three districts into a single administrative organisation with a joint management team.

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Oxfordshire County Council chief executive to quit

Oxfordshire County Council has announced that its chief executive, Joanna Simmons will step down in June 2015. The county council also stated that Simmons will not be replaced as the council is planning to scrap the top position and move towards a “networked management structure”, in a bid to protect front line services and save costs.

Simmons’ departure from the local authority also comes at a time when the council is preparing to face the release of a serious case review report into how girls in council care in Oxford were ill-treated. Simmons said, “This may seem like a radical change, and it is, but radical change is needed to transform the public sector so it can cope with the financial challenges ahead.”

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Islington community chief Cllr Rakhia Ismail resigns

Cllr Rakhia Ismail has resigned from her post as Islington Council’s executive member for community development. However, the council has not revealed the reasons behind her resignation. Cllr Ismail was appointed lead member for sustainability in April 2013 during an executive restructuring. She was given responsibility of community development after the election in May 2013.

Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council said, “I’d like to thank Rakhia for her hard work over the last 20 months on the council’s Executive. In her current role she has started the important work of helping the borough’s voluntary sector to survive the Tory-led Government’s cuts. She has also played an important role in championing local social enterprise, particularly those run by BAME women, a role I hope she will continue from the backbenches.”

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Derby City Council appoints deputy as interim chief executive

Paul Robinson, deputy chief executive at Derby City Council, has been appointed as the interim chief executive. Robinson’s appointment comes after current chief executive Adam Wilkinson opted for a voluntary redundancy. Wilkinson will be on leave until his official leaving date of the end of January 2015.

A decision about the future of the chief executive post will be decided later this year by Derby City Council.

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