People on the move – January 2016

Blaby chief executive to retire in 2016

Blaby District Council’s Chief Executive Sandra Whiles has announced her retirement at the end of May 2016, after holding the position for 11 years.

Whiles joined the authority in 2003 as strategic director and was later appointed chief executive in May 2005.

Prior to Blaby, she was a director at South Derbyshire District Council.
Under Whiles, the council has had many notable achievements including achieving the Customer Services Excellence award.

The council became the first district council to set up a Local Authority Mortgage Scheme to help first time buyers and stimulate the housing market. Blaby District was also recently reported to be the sixth happiest place to live in the country by the Office of National Statistics.

Jane Toman, the council’s current director of people, has been appointed as the interim chief executive. She will take up her duties from 1st March, 2016.

Blaenau Gwent chief exec David Waggett stands down

In a bid to save the local authority money, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Chief Executive David Waggett is set to leave his post at the end of February, 2016.

This comes less than a month after Blaenau Gwent’s Council Leader Hedley McCarthy resigned citing local government reorganisation.
Waggett, who has worked for the council and its predecessor local authority for over 35 years, is taking voluntary redundancy which will save the council £250,000 over five years.

With Waggett’s departure, the role of chief executive will be permanently deleted and instead, a lead corporate director and head of paid service position is created with the appointment of Stephen Gillingham. This will be a temporary appointment for one year to allow for more clarity on local government reorganisation, after which it will be reviewed.

The council say the move is in line with their approach to reducing the number of senior managers as part of its efforts to find savings in the face of budget cuts.


Lewes council boss to step down

Lewes District Council’s Chief Executive Jenny Rowlands will step down from her post in March, 2016 due to job cuts.

The decision came after cabinet committees of Lewes District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council agreed to share services across the councils because of continuing government cuts and the need to meet financial challenges ahead.

Rowlands and her counterpart at Eastbourne, Rob Cottrill, had both been told their roles would be scrapped and a new shared chief executive role created.

Rowlands will not be applying for the new role. Full Council meetings have been set up on 13th January, 2016 at Eastbourne and 14th January, 2016 at Lewes to ratify the recommendation to appoint Cottrill as the new shared chief executive.


New children’s services chief appointed at Manchester council

Manchester City Council has appointed Paul Marshall as its new director of children’s services to replace the current Interim Director Gladys Rhodes-White.

Marshall is currently assistant director of children’s services at Rochdale Borough Council.

The move comes after Ofsted downgraded the department’s safeguarding unit to ‘inadequate’ in a 2014 report that found vulnerable children had potentially been left at risk. It uncovered a huge backlog of child protection cases and raised concerns about mounting pressure on social workers. As a result of this report, the then Children’s Services Director Mike Livingstone quit and Rhodes-White was brought in on a temporary basis.

The Department for Education visited the council in July 2015 and found improvements had taken place, although council chiefs admit there is still ‘a long way’ to go.


New assistant chief executive at Rotherham Council

Rotherham Council has appointed Shokat Lal as its new assistant chief executive.

Lal, who is currently assistant director of human resources and workforce services at Coventry City Council, will take up the role in March 2016, subject to contract.

He will be working in support of the council’s newly-appointed chief executive, Sharon Kemp, who is due to join the authority in January, 2016.

At Coventry, Lal was part of the leadership team when the authority became one of the fastest improving councils nationally under the former local government inspection system. Lal has also worked at Nottingham and Derby city councils and is currently a member of the board of Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group.


Slough regeneration chief is named as new PINS boss

Slough Borough Council’s Strategic Director of Regeneration, Housing and Resources Sarah Richards has resigned after three years at the authority. She will be taking over the chief executive position at the Planning Inspectorate.

Prior to Slough council, Richards spent four years at Essex County Council in the role of director for sustainable environment and enterprise and as head of strategic commissioning.

Having begun her career as a planner with the Greater London Council, Richards progressed to director of planning for Test Valley Borough Council and head of the Planning Advisory Service.


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