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Islington Council’s chief executive announces retirement

The chief executive of Islington Council has announced her retirement “in the coming weeks” after 30 years in local government.

Lesley Seary has said she will stand down from the London council after eight years in charge, “leading the council through one of the most challenging periods for local government.”

Seary said it had been a “pleasure and privilege” to work with the council across Islington, but that the authority needed someone who could “commit totally” to at least another five years.

She joined as chief executive in 2011, and was one of the driving forces in setting up the Islington Employment Commission – “pioneering work” that brought public and private employers together and has so far helped 5,500 people into work.

Leader of the council, Richard Watts, commented: “I have been lucky to have such a strong and experienced chief executive in place throughout my time as leader.

“Lesley has led the council confidently through one of the most challenging times for local government as we have tackled huge cuts to funding from the government.

“From the pioneering Fairness Commission, through to the development of our current ambitious transformation programmes, Lesley has made a huge contribution to the council in her time here.

“I have always been grateful for her support and her relentless drive as we work towards a fairer Islington. I am sure everyone will join me in wishing her all the best for the future.”

Seary said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who works to serve the residents in Islington - working together, we have a brilliant team in Islington and I know they will continue to work hard to make Islington a fairer place.

“The council is at a pivotal stage with ambitious plans for the future, and while I am really excited about what the future holds for Islington, part of being a leader is knowing when to step aside and for me that time is now.

“As Islington embarks on the next stage of its journey, I believe it will benefit from fresh leadership from someone who can commit totally to at least five years to lead and deliver on those plans.”

The council said the process of recruiting Islington’s next chief executive will begin shortly.


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