InsightsPeople on the move – October 2015

People on the move - October 2015

Our monthly round-up of all the most important career moves and appointments from within UK local government.

Copeland council axes chief executive


Copeland Borough Council’s Chief Executive Paul Walker has left the job after councillors voted on 1st October, 2015 to make his role redundant.

In the meeting, councillors voted unanimously to do away with the position, following a recommendation from Mayor Mike Starkie, and Walker is leaving much earlier than expected.

Prior to joining Copeland in 2010, Walker was managing director of Blackpool Services with Blackpool Council. His tenure fell between a controversial period for Copeland, including severe cuts to services and the high-profile collapse of the Pow Beck scheme, which costed Whitehaven the chance of hosting Rugby League World Cup matches in 2013.


Harrow appoints new corporate director

Harrow London Borough Council has appointed Tom McCourt as the new corporate director for community and he will join the local authority in 2016.

In his new role, he will work closely with the chief executive and two other corporate directors and will be responsible for a £80m revenue budget, a £18m capital budget, a housing revenue account worth £18m and 500 staff members.

His main focus will be to make the borough one of the best in London for recycling by 2017. This will include keeping the streets and parks clean and work to address the area’s housing shortage.

McCourt spent the last 13 years working at Hackney council, most recently as assistant director for public realm where he was responsible for street-scene, waste and environmental operations.


Dave Burbage resigns as managing director of Isle of Wight council

Isle of Wight Council’s Managing Director Dave Burbage, has resigned due to disagreements with the council.

Burbage had favoured an internal officer for the position of chief executive after his departure, while councillors said that they would like to look at fresh talent.

Burbage was prepared to stay until March 2016, had the council opted to appoint a new chief executive internally, however, Burbage is giving three months notice and will leave the local authority in December, when a new chief executive is expected to be appointed.

Prior to the role of managing director, Burbage was the council’s director of resources and head of finance.


Fife Council appoints new senior planning manager

Fife Council has appointed Pam Ewen as its new senior manager for planning. She is replacing Jim Birrell and will lead on all aspects of planning including planning applications, planning policy and enforcement in Fife.

Prior to Fife Council, Ewen was in charge of the Dundee and Perth City Region strategic planning authority, TAYplan, which won the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) overall UK award for Excellence in Planning and the Silver Jubilee Cup.

Before TAYplan, Ewen worked with Fife Council for nine years as a manager leading on strategic planning, economic policy, research and information, and the seven large strategic developments areas in Fife.

Ewen began her career in local government in Ayr before moving to Central Region and then Clackmannanshire working across development management, project implementation and development planning.

Ewen has a degree in Town Planning and an MBA. She is a member of the RTPI, member of Heads of Planning Scotland executive and is a board member of the Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre.


Sue Harris appointed to key environment post at Kensington and Chelsea

Sue Harris has been appointed executive director of environment, leisure and residents’ services at Kensington and Chelsea council.

Harris will replace Lyn Carpenter, who has been appointed as chief executive of Thurrock, and, in the first instance, her appointment will be on an interim basis.

She will take strategic charge of all the department’s services, including waste and recycling, parks, leisure, and the arts, which covers responsibility for the Notting Hill Carnival.

She will continue to direct the same services for Hammersmith & Fulham, as she has done since 2011 as part of a ‘bi-borough’ partnership arrangement.

Harris previously worked for Richmond-upon-Thames and Merton London Borough Councils.

She has led a number of services including waste, enforcement, leisure, parks, libraries and fleet transport. She has also overseen highways, traffic management and arts services.


Mansfield District Council appoints new interim chief operating officer

Mansfield District Council has appointed Bev Smith as the new interim chief operating officer, after it confirmed Managing Director Ruth Marlow resigned by mutual consent.

Smith previously held the post of Corporate Director for Regeneration and Regulation in the council.

The role will include providing strategic and operational leadership as well as, the duties of returning officer and head of paid service.

The interim chief operating officer will remain in post until 31st March 2016.


Richard Hicks confirmed as Medway’s new director

Medway Council has roped in Richard Hicks as its new director of regeneration, community and culture.

Hicks was previously a deputy director under Robin Cooper, who left in June 2015. Since then he has been acting in the role of director and will now take up the position on a permanent basis.

Hicks will now oversee some of the local authority’s biggest projects and regeneration schemes. Alongside his new duties, he will continue to be in charge of Medway’s cultural activities including many council-run festivals.


Mid Devon’s chief executive to retire

Chief Executive Kevin Finan is retiring from his post at Mid Devon District Council following a local government career that has spanned 46 years.

Finan is one of the council’s longest serving employees having joined the authority as chief rates officer in 1986.

He has been chief executive for five years, which was well above the national average for the length of tenure of a council chief.

Finan said that the recruitment process to find his successor would be led by the leader of the council and the new chief executive would take up the post in 2016. He also added that he expects his last day at work at Phoenix House to be 8th January, 2016.


New Forest District Council hires Bob Jackson as new boss

New Forest District Council has appointed Bob Jackson as its new chief executive. He has been chosen to succeed Dave Yates, the current chief executive, who is retiring after 40 years in local government.

Jackson joined the local authority in 2008 as executive director for finance.

He has been instrumental in steering the council through recent years of public sector cuts, saving £2.9m of expenditure while maintaining essential services and not increasing council tax.


Norfolk appoints new chief fire officer

Norfolk County Council has appointed Roy Harold to replace Nigel Williams as its new chief fire officer.

In addition to chief fire officer, Roy will take on the role of assistant director for fire and community resilience at the council which encompasses trading standards, community safety and emergency planning.

Harold has more than 25 years’ fire and rescue service experience in London Fire Brigade, Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire and HM Fire Services Inspectorate, where he was a member of the integrated risk management support team.

He joined Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service as assistant chief fire officer in 2010 and was promoted to deputy chief fire officer in 2013.

Roy served as chairman of the Chief Fire Officers’ Association water rescue group from 2010 – 2014 where he led the national flood support team.

Roy was awarded an MBE in 2006, for his work on fire service modernisation and national contingency planning.


Poole appoints new chief executive
Poole Borough Council has appointed Andrew Flockhart as its new chief executive and head of paid service.Flockhart has been interim chief executive since June 2014 following the retirement of Chief Executive John McBride in March 2014.The council launched two unsuccessful rounds of advertising for a new boss, however no suitable candidate was identified.

An appointments committee, chaired by Council Leader Councillor Janet Walton, unanimously agreed to recommend Flockhart following an interview in August 2015. He will be recommended to assume the role on a permanent basis at a meeting of the full council on 29th September, 2015.

Cllr Walton said, “Andrew has covered the role very effectively as interim chief executive for more than a year, providing valuable experience and continuity at a time of significant challenge for the council. He impressed the appointments committee with his vision for the future of our town and the organisation. We were unanimous in recommending him to council as our next chief executive.”

Before joining Borough of Poole in 1996, Flockhart was assistant chief executive at Wolverhampton City Council for five years. His professional background is in planning, economic development and urban regeneration.


Senior appointments at Stevenage Borough Council

Stevenage Borough council has appointed Zayd Al-Jawad as head of planning and engineering and Ash Ahmed as assistant director for housing development.

Zayd Al-Jawad joins Stevenage after four years as planning manager at Southwark London Borough Council and with 15 years experience in the planning sector. He will be responsible for leading Stevenage’s local plan adoption and supporting new sustainable development.

Ash Ahmed joins Stevenage after seven years at Basildon Borough Council where he was responsible for developing and implementing the council’s estate regeneration and housing development plans. He has been involved in public sector regeneration projects since 1999, working for county and district councils as well as housing associations.


Wigan council boss quits over TV show

Terry Dunn, environment services director, has resigned from his post at Wigan council.

Dunn was previously suspended due to an internal investigation over his decision to air a documentary that featured the council in a negative light. The internal review was launched soon after the controversial documentary aired on 23rd June 2015.

Council Leader Lord Smith announced that the council has accepted Dunn’s resignation. The council will make no further statement in the interests of preserving the integrity of the investigation concerning other employees which will continue.

Dunn’s departure is the second in recent weeks after Assistant Director for Trading Steve Cassie was dismissed as part of an internal review.


Wirral regeneration chief leaves the council under voluntary severance
Kevin Adderley, who was appointed as one of Wirral Borough Council’s “super-directors”, has taken voluntary severance.Adderley served as Wirral’s strategic director for regeneration and environment since November 2012.He joined Wirral as director of development in 2005. During his tenure at Wirral, he has helped secure jobs and investment for the borough. He played a vital role in transforming the authority by providing additional strategic leadership capacity and helped lead and deliver the council’s improvement plan.

Adderley was credited for bringing the Open Golf tournament back to Wirral in 2006 and 2014. He is also instrumental in securing the multi-billion pound dockland regeneration project “Wirral Waters.”


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