People on the move – September 2015

St Helens Council appoints new deputy chief executive

St Helens Council has appointed Ian Roberts as deputy chief executive, as well as director of finance.

His appointment comes after further cuts to the council budgets, with £23 million having to be saved over the next two years.

Roberts was previously assistant chief executive with responsibility for finance at the council.

He has worked with St Helens Council since 1977, joining as a trainee accountant. Subsequent roles included chief internal auditor, assistant treasurer and deputy treasurer.

Roberts’ key duties will include ensuring a strong focus on service delivery and financial management and identifying key priorities against a background of reduced budgets over the next five years.


Sunderland chief to leave

Sunderland City Council Chief Executive Dr Dave Smith has stepped down from his post after seven years.

His resignation comes after an Ofsted report that found serious failings within the council’s child protection, adoption and children-in-care services.

In addition to his duties as Sunderland’s chief executive, Dr Smith led on elections and democracy for the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers. He also chaired the Key Cities chief executive group.

In a short statement, Council Leader Paul Watson thanked Dr Smith for his service having worked at the council for 10 years in total. Watson also added that the council has interim executive arrangements in place.


Northumberland County Council restores chief role

Northumberland County Council has restored the role of chief executive and has appointed Steve Mason to lead the council. The administration at Northumberland council has come in for criticism over bringing back the chief executive role and giving its lead officer a pay rise. Mason previously held the post of lead executive director.

Opposition groups have questioned how the move can be justified as it comes less than two years after Northumberland County Council scrapped the chief executive position as part of a cost cutting review of its senior management structure. This included giving then Chief Executive Steve Stewart a voluntary redundancy compensation package in late 2013.


Tower Hamlets appoints chief executive

Tower Hamlets council is set to appoint Will Tuckley as its new chief executive.

This appointment comes after the then communities secretary Eric Pickles advised Tower Hamlets to recruit a permanent chief executive, section 151 officer and monitoring officer “as a matter of urgency” after an independent report by PwC.

Tuckley is currently Bexley council’s chief executive and has held the post since 2008. Prior to Bexley, he was deputy chief executive and director of the policy and corporate services department at Croydon council, where he joined in 1996.


New chief executive for North Lanarkshire Council

North Lanarkshire Council has appointed Regeneration And Environmental Services Director Paul Jukes as its new chief executive.

Jukes will replace Gavin Whitefield when he retires in October 2015.

Jukes paid tribute to Whitefield saying he would be a hard act to follow. He added, “I am wholly committed to the task ahead. We have in the authority a skilled workforce and committed elected members and during the next few weeks I will be working closely with Gavin and the Council leadership to ensure a smooth transition.”

Jukes began his local government career at Motherwell District Council in 1987. He joined North Lanarkshire as a director in 1996 and was appointed executive director of regeneration and environmental services in 2007.


Coventry council appoints Ofsted official to head crisis-hit children’s services

Coventry City Council ropes in Ofsted official John Gregg as new director of children’s services.

This appointment comes after Ofsted rated Coventry’s children’s services department “inadequate” after failures relating to the murder of city schoolboy Daniel Pelka.

Gregg is currently Ofsted’s deputy director for social care regulation. Qualifying as a social worker in 1995, his early career involved working with looked after children and care leavers. As a senior inspector at Ofsted, he oversaw inspections of help and child protection, looked after children and care leavers in councils.

The council maintains it will save £500,000 with the management restructure, by losing assistant director roles and other jobs further down the structure.


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