People on the move – December

Chief executive of Bolton Council resigns after just five months

Bolton Council’s Chief Executive Paul Najsarek has resigned just months after he was appointed in May 2015.

Najsarek, who moved from London to take over the role from Sean Harriss, has cited family commitments.

Deputy Chief Executive Margaret Asquith will take over as acting chief executive.

Council Leader Councillor Cliff Morris said: “Paul has family commitments which he must prioritise at the moment and these make it hard for him to continue working in the north west at this time. Our ambitious savings, regeneration and devolution programme is on track and Paul has done important work involving staff and partners. We are sorry Paul’s time with us has been short but we understand that family must sometimes come first and we wish him well for the future.”


Buckinghamshire County Council chief to retire after 15 years in the role

Buckinghamshire County Council’s Chris Williams is set to retire in March 2016 following a 15 year stint in the role.

Williams is one of the longest-serving county chiefs in the country having been Buckinghamshire’s chief executive since 2000.

He is also chief executive for South East England Councils, a body representing 74 local councils. Williams joined Buckinghamshire as its director of environmental services.

Williams began his career in local government as a town planner with Glamorgan County Council in 1989, later becoming county planning officer of East Sussex. He also served as the president of the County Planning Officer Society.

Williams has led peer reviews of Gloucestershire and Warwickshire County Councils and has carried out a capability review of the Ministry of Defence. He has held a number of directorships of environmental, business, European and community safety organisations in Sussex, Buckinghamshire and across the Thames Valley.


New chief executive appointed at Cornwall Council

Kate Kennally has been formally confirmed as Cornwall Council’s new chief executive. Currently the strategic director for commissioning and deputy chief executive at the London Borough of Barnet, she will take control at Cornwall in January 2016.

Cornwall’s Council Leader John Pollard said that the council received applications from people with a wide range of skills and experience which meant the panel was able to choose from a strong field of candidates. Kennally’s appointment was a unanimous recommendation to the full council.

Croydon Council appoints Rachel Flowers as new director of public health

Rachel Flowers has been appointed as Croydon’s new director of public health. Currently a health adviser for a north London development company, Flowers will start her new role in January 2016.

Her responsibilities will include managing an estimated £1.3 million cut in Croydon’s public health budget.

Flowers replaces Dr Mike Robinson, who has left to become director of public health for Westminster, Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea councils.

Flowers is a former deputy director at Public Health England before which she worked for the Greater London Authority. She was also joint director of public health for Newham Council for almost five years, becoming England’s first environmental health officer to be appointed to the position.

Flowers said she is excited by the prospect of working in a borough that places public health at the top of any agenda. Croydon’s work in public health is well documented, being both a British Heart Foundation Heart Town and also one of only two Food Flagship boroughs in the capital.

John Metcalfe is new Isle of Wight Council chief exec

John Metcalfe has been selected as chief executive to run Isle of Wight Council. Metcalfe, who is currently the council’s deputy managing director, is expected to take up the role from 1st December, 2015.

Metcalfe takes over from outgoing Managing Director Dave Burbage, who resigned in September 2015.


Newcastle’s Martin Surtees leaves in double blow for the city’s education

Martin Surtees has stepped down from his post as assistant director of education at Newcastle City Council.

This comes as another blow in a week that saw Ofsted’s Regional Director for North East and Yorkshire Nick Hudson’s letter to Pat Ritchie, the council’s chief executive, voicing “disappointment and concern” following a drop in educational attainment across schools within the authority.

A council spokesman said that Surtees’ departure is not linked to Ofsted’s letter and temporary arrangements are already in place to support schools as an interim measure.

The council will be consulting with schools as part of reviewing the future requirements of the council’s education leadership structure, and announcing any permanent arrangements as soon as possible. It is also working with Northumberland County Council to help restructure its education department.

Surtees, a York University graduate, was a popular figure within Newcastle’s schools.


Redbridge Council announce new chief executive Andy Donald

Councillors were asked to approve the appointment of Andy Donald as Redbridge Council’s new chief executive at a council meeting on 19th November 2015. Donald will also become head of the paid service and will start in 2016.

Donald, currently a strategic director at Brent London Borough Council, will replace Roger Hampson.

Hampson, who joined the council in 1994, said: “After 30 years in local government, with 22 of those at Redbridge, I am delighted to be able to welcome Andy as my successor in 2016. I look forward to collaborating with Andy over the coming weeks. There are some great people and interesting challenges in Redbridge and Andy will have my full support as he starts to take over the reins.”

Over a 20 year career, Donald has led a number of high profile regeneration projects including Wembley, Park Royal and South Kilburn. He is a founding board member of the Future of London, and an active member of the Smart Urbanism group.


Rotherham announces preferred candidate for Chief Exec role

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has announced Sharon Kemp as its preferred candidate as chief executive. Following a nationwide advertising campaign and rigorous assessment process, Kemp was chosen by an all-party selection panel.

Kemp has been assistant chief executive and strategic director at the City of Manchester since 2009. Prior to that, she worked at the London Borough of Haringey as assistant chief executive in the aftermath of the Baby P case. She began her career with Greater Manchester Police.

Kemp has an honours degree in public administration and a volunteer trustee for the YMCA in Manchester and a school governor.


Uttlesford District Council appoints Dawn French as new chief executive

Dawn French has been appointed as the new chief executive of Uttlesford District Council.

She is currently commissioning director (corporate support) at Basildon Borough Council and will take up her post early next year.

French has been appointed as chief executive, returning officer, electoral registration officer and designated as head of paid service. She will replace John Mitchell, who is retiring in January 2016 after almost eight years as chief executive of the council and 14 years with the authority.

Councillors approved the appointment at a meeting of the full council on 24th November, 2015.

French has been with Basildon since 2005 and has worked previously for Chelmsford and Colchester councils. She has extensive leadership experience in local government and a successful track record in delivering large, complex projects, in improving the delivery of services and in working with partners to deliver improved outcomes.

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