Workforce, Pensions and Training

16.11.17

Private giant government lead named new Surrey council CEO

Surrey County Council has announced a new chief executive, joining the authority from private-sector giant KPMG.

Joanna Killian, former Essex County Council chief, will be subject to Full Council approval before taking over the organisation from outgoing boss David McNulty.

Leaving her role in Essex in 2015, the new chief executive had been serving as head of local government for KPMG before putting her name forward for the Surrey role.

Council leader David Hodge said he thought Killian was “clearly the best person for the job,” adding that he expected her to be a “huge asset” to the authority.

“I am delighted we have been able to secure someone with so much experience both in the public and private sector,” he continued. “I have no doubt the expertise she has developed with KPMG and Essex will be enormously beneficial to the county.”

Responding to the announcement, Killian said: “It’s both a pleasure and a privilege to be joining Surrey. Clearly the staff and members have done some amazing things in recent years and the county is looking at a future with truly transformed public services.”

She is expected to take over as chief executive in the new year.

The council has been shrouded in controversy over the last year after plans to implement a huge 15% tax rise were struck down by local residents.

Earlier this year, the county council was accused of being granted a “sweetheart deal” by the DCLG to fund social care, in response to dropping the proposed referendum on a 15% tax hike.

Private correspondence between the two organisations hinted that the government may have tried to avoid a politically embarrassing situation by giving the county a package of increased funding.

Suspicions were further raised when the authority underspent by £7m in May, despite forecasting a £22.4m overspend in September 2016.

In addition, the council recently gave notice to withdraw membership from both the LGA and the CCN, saying it needed to save as much money as possible under increasing financial pressures.

Top image: Surrey CC

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