People on the move – November 2015

Birmingham City Council announces two key appointments

As part of its ongoing Future Council programme, Birmingham City Council has appointed two new senior officers.

The council has appointed Angela Probert as its strategic director for change and corporate services. She will move from Nottingham City Council where she is currently strategic director for organisational transformation.

She led Nottingham’s ‘Good to Great’ corporate transformation programme, which has delivered £55 million in savings over the last four years. She began her local government career with Sheffield City Council.

Piali DasGupta, a senior advisor at the Local Government Association, has been appointed as an assistant chief executive role at Birmingham on a two-year fixed term contract.

At the LGA, she worked on a number of major issues including local government finance reform, adult social care funding, the City Growth Deals and most recently devolution. Prior to LGA, she held senior roles with the Canadian Government, developing its £135 million Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

The appointments are in response to the independent improvement panel which stated that the city council needed more ‘strategic capacity’ to ensure that it could deliver its improvement programme.


New chief executive at Brighton & Hove City Council

Geoff Raw was confirmed as chief executive of Brighton & Hove City after five months of holding the role on an interim basis.

The vacancy was created by the departure of Penny Thompson who has taken early retirement.

Councillors unanimously backed the appointment at a full council meeting on 22nd October 2015.
Raw joined Brighton & Hove in November 2010. He was previously the council’s executive director of environment, development and housing. Raw, a professional town planner, has also worked for London Borough of Brent, the Mayor for London, and the Treasury.


Gillian Beasley confirmed as new chief executive of Cambridgeshire County Council

Peterborough City Council Chief Executive Gillian Beasley is to additionally take over at Cambridgeshire County Council. This move follows the resignation of Mark Lloyd, who has become chief executive of the Local Government Association.

Beasley’s role as a shared chief executive will initially be on a 12 month temporary basis with a review at six months. Outgoing Cambridgeshire council Chief Executive Mark Lloyd says he fully expects his successor to eventually be appointed on a permanent basis.

Beasley became chief executive at Peterborough in 2002 having joined it as director of law and administration in 1997. She was earlier head of legal services at Cambridgeshire.


Durham’s new chief executive appointed

Terry Collins has been appointed as the next chief executive of Durham County Council and will replace George Garlick, who retires at the end of January 2016.

His appointment was approved by council members at a full council meeting on 28th October, 2015.

The appointment process has been overseen by a cross-party Chief Officer Appointments Committee (COAC).

Collins joined Durham County Council in 2009 as corporate director of neighbourhood services.

He was educated at Sacred Heart School in Redcar and studied Sport and Recreational Management at Longlands College, Middlesbrough. He completed his Master’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Teesside.

Essex County Council appoint Gavin Jones as new chief executive

Essex County Council has appointed Gavin Jones as its new chief executive. He will take up the role in January 2016 and the council’s existing arrangements for interim cover will remain in place until then.

Currently chief executive at Swindon Borough Council, Jones is one of the most influential leaders in local government.

He joined Swindon council in 2003 as deputy chief executive and worked alongside the interim chief executive to help stabilise what was at the time a failing authority. He was appointed chief executive on a permanent basis in 2006 and has overseen savings of more than £300m.

Prior to joining Swindon, Jones worked in a variety of roles in the private sector including a stint as vice president of customer service for air transport communications company SITA.
He was listed as one of the top 50 New Radicals in the Sunday Observer’s national campaign for Britain’s most innovative leaders.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council chief’s contract ends

Great Yarmouth council has terminated its interim chief executive’s contract with a view to sharing senior management with North Norfolk District Council.

According to Council Leader Graham Plant, the contract with Gordon Mitchell was due to end in December 2015 anyway.

The council has proposed that North Norfolk’s Chief Executive Sheila Oxtoby as well as Head of Finance Karen Sly work across both authorities on an interim and part-time basis before deciding whether to make it permanent.

The recommendations will be voted on at full council on Thursday, 15th October 2015. If they do not pass, an alternative interim chief executive would be appointed.

Chief executive takes up his new role at Hampshire County Council

Hampshire County Council has appointed John Coughlan as its chief executive after Andrew Smith retired having worked for the council for more than 25 years and after eight years in the role.

The final decision was made by the authority’s councillors at its full meeting on 22nd October 2015.

The new role will see Coughlan responsible for an annual budget of £2 billion as well as also a workforce of around 37,000 and for providing services for 1.3 million people across the county.

Prior to this appointment, he was the deputy chief executive of the council.
He was awarded a CBE in the 2009 New Year honours list, in recognition of his work for children’s services.


Hull City Council appoints chief operating officer

Hull City Council has hired Matt Jukes as chief operating officer. He will start in his post on 1st December, 2015.

The chief operating officer will work together with the chief executive to achieve the key priority for the city – improving the lives of local people.

The post will be the overall sponsor for the Future Council programme and will lead on delivery of the City Plan.
Jukes was the Port Director for Associated British Ports between 2008 and 2013 where he played a significant role in launching the Green Port Hull development in partnership with the city council.

He has been a member of the City of Hull Leadership board, President of the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce, a Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) board member, and a member of the University of Hull Business School’s Advisory Board.


Stephen Walford appointed as new chief executive of Mid Devon District Council

Mid Devon District Council confirmed Stephen Walford as its chief executive at a full council meeting held on 4th November 2015.

He will be replacing Kevin Finan who is retiring early 2016.

Walford has worked in local government for nearly a decade. He is currently working at Buckinghamshire County Council as director of growth & strategy. His area of specialism is strategic planning, economic development and regeneration.

He was transport policy manager with Somerset County Council in Taunton from January 2007 to January 2013.

He studied design and technology at University of Winchester and later did his MSc in public management and administration from the University of Plymouth.


Rochdale welcomes new director of public health

Rochdale Borough Council has appointed Andrea Fallon as a new director of public health. She will play a key role in improving the health and wellbeing of Rochdale and its communities by tackling a range of health issues and campaigns.

Fallon joins the council after working at Metropolitan Borough of Oldham Council for six years as a public health consultant.

A Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, she also has a master’s degree in public health and over 16 years’ experience in public health related roles including leading Sure Start centres, as well as various nursing roles including working as a Health Visitor.


Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s chief executive has leave extended

Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s chief executive has been placed on “extended leave” as part of a review of the local authority’s senior management team.

John van de Laarschot has agreed to take a period of extended leave for two weeks.

Chief Operating Officer Laura Rowley will provide interim cover during this time, ensuring that normal business continues.

Van de Laarschot was appointed Stoke’s chief executive in October 2009. He joined the city council from Torridge District Council where he served as chief executive between 2005 and 2009.


West Lancashire Borough Council chief axed as joint MD structure scrapped

The joint managing director structure at West Lancashire Borough Council will be scrapped after the council agreed on voluntary redundancy of Gill Rowe who was managing director (people and places).

From 1st February 2016, Managing Director (Transformation) Kim Webber will become West Lancashire’s acting chief executive and she will also be the designated head of paid service and the returning officer.

Webber, who joined the council as assistant chief executive in 1999, will be supported by the council’s four interim directors. She previously worked at Bolton and Rochdale councils and Manchester City Council where she started her local government career in 1986.

In the meantime, an interim management structure has been put in place pending a further report to council. The decision was made at a meeting on 21st October 2015, and the council said the move was made to “achieve savings” and to enable a “new management structure” to be put in place to deliver the new Council Plan 2015-18.


West Sussex’s top county council officer to leave in spring

West Sussex County Council’s Gill Steward, who is currently the council’s chief operating officer on an interim contract, will leave in spring 2016.

Previously interim executive director of customer and place operations at Essex council, Steward was appointed to the role at West Sussex in July 2014.

Steward’s career in local government has also seen her hold senior positions at Bracknell Forest, Hackney and Redridge, and Cornwall councils.

West Sussex County Council Leader Louise Goldsmith announced Steward’s planned departure in a blog post. For the next few months, Steward and Goldsmith will continue to work together on tackling the big issues that the county faces, including the Government’s upcoming spending review, the council’s budget and working with our partners on developing our devolution proposals.


Karl Battersby joins Wigan Council in top regeneration role

Karl Battersby has been appointed as director of economy and regeneration at Wigan Council. The role will see Battersby overseeing the growth of the borough’s economy in the coming decade.

With over 20 years of local government experience, Battersby joins Wigan from Rotherham council where he was strategic director.

He said his number one task was delivering Wigan Council’s new Economic Prospectus, launched at the Wigan Business Expo, which sets out how the borough will create 10,000 jobs, 12,000 apprentices and enable 10,000 new homes to be built over the coming decade.

Battersby began his career at Exeter City Council as a planning enforcement officer before moving to Doncaster Council, Wakefield Council and Blackpool Council where he held various planning roles.


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