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04.10.18

‘Forward-thinking’ Camden Council boss to retire after seven years of ‘unprecedented challenge’

The leader of Camden Council has paid tribute to the outgoing chief executive for leading the local authority through times of unprecedented budget cuts.

CEO Mike Cooke, who has been at the Town Hall for 14 years and at the helm for half that time, has announced this week that he will be stepping down at the end of March next year.

After announcing his decision, he told colleagues that Camden has made “huge strides forward, dealt as well as we possibly could with a period of national austerity, achieved much and we are now widely respected as a leading council which is innovating and making a difference.”

Cooke has announced his decision to retire six months in advance to allow the council to find a suitable recruiter and implement a “smooth transition.”

Paying tribute, council leader Georgia Gould called Cooke “one of the most forward-thinking leaders in local government.”

“Never someone to chase the limelight, he has, in his patient, understated, way led Camden through a period of unprecedented challenge and helped to ensure our values stronger than ever,” she continued.

“He is a great innovator who has helped us protect our public services and build a culture that recognises the strength in our communities, despite losing half our budget.

“He is the ultimate public servant, serving Camden with absolute dedication and I’ve personally learnt a lot from him. While he’s not leaving us just yet I know when he does he will leave us in the strongest possible place to weather turbulent times and continue to build together a place where no-one is left behind.”

In a statement, Cooke said he hopes the news will not be a distraction and that it will be ‘service as usual’ until the end of next March.

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