Career Moves – Welsh Assembly, East Herts, Powys, South Gloucestershire and more
Julie James has now been appointed as Minister for Housing and Local Government. Prior to this role, the Welsh Labour politician served as Leader of the House and Chief Whip and is a member of the Welsh Assembly for Swansea West. Commenting upon James’ appointment, Stuart Ropke, chief executive at Community Housing Cymru said: “We welcome the appointment of Julie James to the position of Minister for Housing and Local Government. The elevation of housing to the cabinet table is a timely reminder of the importance of good housing to the future prosperity of Wales.”
Meanwhile, Hannah Blythyn, AM for Delyn has been appointed as Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government. She previously served as Minister for Environment.
Ropke commented: “The ongoing review of affordable housing presents a huge opportunity for the minister and her deputy to create a long-term policy environment which allows housing associations to continue building the homes Wales needs.”
East Herts Council chief executive Liz Watts is stepping down in order to spend more time with her family. The search for a successor has begun and the council hopes to find a new boss by March.
Commenting upon her decision to step down, Watts said: “It’s been the most immense privilege to work with you all at East Herts, and I am enormously grateful to the leader, Linda Haysey, and her colleagues for placing their trust in me as chief executive. I leave behind an organisation which is full of dedicated and resourceful colleagues and I’m extremely grateful for their support to me over the years.”
Havant Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council have appointed Gill Kneller as interim chief executive.
Kneller, who held the position of executive director for both councils, has taken over the position for six months from January 2018 after her appointment was approved by both councils. She will replace the previous Chief Executive, Sandy Hopkins, who held the position from 2007 at Havant Borough Council and of both organisations since 2009.
Leader of Havant Borough Council Cllr Michael Wilson, said: “Gill is the perfect appointment and the obvious successor to Sandy, as they worked so closely together over the last few years. She already has an in-depth knowledge of the organisation and the strategic directions of both councils and so she can hit the ground running. I am really looking forward to working with her.”
South Gloucestershire Council has promoted its Deputy Chief Executive Dave Perry to the position of Chief Executive, following the retirement of Amanda Deeks after 14 years in the role. Perry will assume the position of Chief Executive and head of paid service later this year.
Commenting on his promotion, Perry said: “It is a great honour and privilege to be selected as the next Chief Executive of South Gloucestershire Council. The council has an excellent reputation, and that is down to the hard work and commitment of its officers and councilors, as well as Amanda’s leadership – she will certainly be a hard act to follow. I have a genuine passion for South Gloucestershire, and am really looking forward to working to improve services, and make South Gloucestershire an even better place to live.”
Powys County Council has named Dr Caroline Turner as its new chief executive, commencing on 25 February. Dr Turner, a fluent Welsh speaker, brings over 25 years of experience in local government and civil service in Wales. Currently, she holds the position of assistant chief executive of Anglesey County Council.
Commenting upon the appointment, acting Chief Executive Dr Mohammed Mehmet said: “We look forward to welcoming Caroline to Powys in February. She will be arriving in the county at a crucial time when the council is working hard to set a balance budget for the coming financial year.”