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Cheshire East Council to recruit new chief executive

23rd July 2023 @ 6:06am – by Cheshire East
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Cheshire East Council to recruit new chief executive

Cheshire East Council chief executive Dr Lorraine O'Donnell has given notice of her resignation.

It follows confirmation of her appointment as chief executive at Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Dr O'Donnell will leave Cheshire East Council in October 2023.

The council's appointments committee will now meet to undertake the recruitment and selection process for a new chief executive and also consider any requirement for interim arrangements during that process.

Senior officers and members are working to ensure appropriate management arrangements are in place to ensure that the council's workforce, councillors, services and projects continue to be supported appropriately.

Dr O'Donnell said: "This has been an extremely difficult decision as my time at Cheshire East has been the most enjoyable period in my career and I am very proud of what we, as an organisation, have achieved over the last three years.

"I have seen real, positive change in the organisation, and we have overcome significant challenges — not least supporting the borough through an international pandemic, a cost-of-living-crisis and the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

"We can also be proud of many achievements. We have successfully moved to the committee system of governance, agreed a four-year balanced budget (for two consecutive years, despite the national funding challenges), opened major new roads (Congleton link road and Poynton relief road), made significant progress towards our carbon neutral plan and introduced a new customer strategy and charter, to name just a few.

"Cheshire East Council is a fantastic place to work and I have really enjoyed working with councillors, officers and partners and will miss the people, the borough and the council enormously. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made me feel so welcome from the start and whose professionalism and dedication has made working here such a pleasure."

Councillor Sam Corcoran, leader of the council, said: "I would like to thank Lorraine for her work in Cheshire East and wish her well in her new role. Lorraine's contribution to developing the organisation we are today has been significant and invaluable.

"This has been a time of change for Cheshire East Council and Lorraine has been a driving force, supporting and delivering our vision for the borough. The work now begins to find a new chief executive to lead us in the next stage of our journey, seizing new opportunities and meeting new challenges."

Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of the council, said: "Lorraine joined Cheshire East Council just as the first Covid lockdown began. In her three years as chief executive, Lorraine has supported the organisation through the duration of the pandemic. This has included leading significant changes to working practices for our officers and councillors alike.

"Lorraine can be proud of many achievements, not least supporting the move to the committee system — a significantly different form of governance and decision-making for the council. The organisation is now in a strong position. I thank her and wish her luck for the future."

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