People on the Move – July 2015

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City of York’s New Acting Head Of Council Revealed
City of Yorkshire Council has appointed Steve Stewart as its new acting chief executive. Stewart was elected by a panel that comprised Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour elected members on 26th July, 2015. Stewart is expected to over as the head officer after Kersten England moves to City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council in July 2015.

During his tenure as a local government officer, Stewart was responsible for creating Northumberland County Council from seven pre-existing authorities. On his appointment, Stewart, said, “It is an honour to be appointed acting chief executive of City of York Council and I know that I will be joining a strong team. I recognise that my priorities will include progressing the consultation on the new council plan and the management restructure that the Executive has initiated.”
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Ofsted’s Kath O’Dwyer to join Cheshire East Council
Cheshire East Council has appointed Ofsted’s Kath O’Dwyer as its new director of children’s services and deputy chief executive. She was unanimously recommended to the position by the council’s staffing committee and is subject to a full council vote on 23rd July. 2015.

Kath currently holds the post of national director of social care and previously led children’s services division at Warrington Borough Council. Cllr Rachel Bailey, cabinet member for children’s services, said, “Kath has an exceptional track record both at Ofsted and in local authorities. Kath believes in putting the child at the centre of everything the service does and her appointment is a testament to our determination to make Cheshire East the very best place to grow up.”
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Moray Council Appoints Rhona Gunn as New Director
Moray Council has appointed Rhona Gunn as its new corporate director for economic development, planning and infrastructure services. Gunn will primarily be responsible for planning, economic development, roads, waste management, environmental health and trading standards. She had held the post in acting capacity for the past nine months in the council.

Prior to Moray Council, Gunn had worked with a legal practice in Aberdeen around 18 years ago. On her appointment, Roddy Burns, Council Chief Executive said, “These are challenging times for all local authorities and I am delighted that Rhona is now a member of the council’s corporate management structure on a permanent basis.”
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Durham County Council chief exec George Garlick to retire
George Garlick, chief executive, Durham County Council is planning to retire in January 2016 when he reaches the age of 60. Garlick had joined as the chief executive of the council in 2008, just before the council was turned into a unitary at the abolition of the previous two-tier setup in April 2009.

Garlick was also responsible for helping Durham County Council to win the LGC Council of the Year in 2014. A spokesperson stated that since his appointment, he helped steer the council through local government reorganisation and subsequently through the Government’s austerity programme. Till date, he has helped to deliver savings over £135m.
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Oxfordshire County Council Chief Executive To Step Down
Oxfordshire County Council has announced that its chief executive Joanna Simmons will step down from her position in September 2015. Simmons has held the post of chief executive at the council since 2005. She had also resisted pressure to resign following the conviction of a paedophile ring in Oxfordshire, in 2013.

This move would allow the council to review the senior management structure and also decide whether a new chief executive will be appointed or if the post will be scrapped The council previously had announced that it was planning to make the chief executive position redundant at the council. To which, council leader, Ian Hudspeth had admitted that he had acted hastily in deciding to axe the post.
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Thurrock Council appoints Lyn Carpenter as new Chief Executive
Thurrock Council has chosen Lyn Carpenter as its new chief executive. Lyn will replace David Bull, who has been acting as interim chief executive since the departure of Graham Farrant in March 2015.

Prior to Thurrock Council, Lyn had held the post of Executive Director of Environment, Leisure and Residents Service for bi-boroughs Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. She also chaired the Tri-borough (also including Westminster City Council) Public Health Board and Violence against Women and Girls Board and is a member of the national Society of Local Authority Chief Executives Board (SOLACE). Talking about Lyn’s appointment, Thurrock Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, said: “Lyn’s experience in central London combined with her position on SOLACE – and the contacts that brings with it – ensures we will maintain our place on the public sector top table in and around the corridors and rooms of Westminster and Whitehall.”
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Coventry City Council Appoints Gail Quinton to Lead Super-Department
Coventry City Council has appointed Gail Quinton to lead the People Directorate covering education, adult social care, community services such as libraries, and child protection. This new role is one of the four newly created permanent roles that command a salary of up to £125,000. As a part of the role, Gail will be responsible for the recruitment of the new directors of children’s services and adult social care.

Gail currently holds the post of director of children’s services at Worcestershire County Council. She will replace outgoing temporary executive director, Brian Walsh after he retires in September 2015.

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Brighton chief executive Penny Thompson Resigns
Penny Thompson, Brighton and Hove Council’s chief executive has tendered her resignation following the election of a new Labour administration in May 2015. Thompson has officially stepped down from her post on 30th June, 2015. She was appointed to the post in 2012 by the former minority Green administration.

Speaking about her resignation on her personal blog, Thompson hinted at problems arising between her and the new labour administration and that her decision to resign was not easy. New Council Leader Warren Morgan said, “I’d like to thank Penny on behalf of the council for her significant contribution to Brighton and Hove over the past three years, and for steering the authority through a difficult period. We will move swiftly to ensure a new chief executive is appointed who can help the council and the city change in the challenging financial times ahead, so that our resources and those of our partner organisations can be targeted to best effect.”

Thompson’s successor will be Brighton and Hove Council’s fifth chief executive in slightly over a decade.
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Midlothian Council Leader Owen Thompson resigns
Midlothian Council Leader, Cllr Owen Thompson has resigned following his election as a new member of parliament for the Midlothian Constituency. Cllr Thompson’s resignation as a leader was with immediate effect and he officially stepped as a councillor on 1st July, 2015. His resignation has triggered a by-election in Midlothian West ward in the borough.

Cllr. Thompson was elected at stage 7 of the council elections in May 2012. On his resignation, Cllr Thompson stated that Midlothian was now widely considered as a progressive, forward-looking authority. In order to maintain the progress, the council needed a strong leadership, which he would not be able to provide along with his new role as the MP.
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