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Local government veteran unanimously appointed to Southampton City Council’s top job

Southampton City Council has appointed Sandy Hopkins as its new chief executive after the local authority’s employment panel unanimously recommended her nomination.

Hopkins will take over from the current interim chief executive Richard Crouch in the new year after beating more than 20 applicants to get the council’s top job.

She has been leading Havant Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council as chief executive for both since 2007 and 2009 respectively.

She is also currently the chair of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Chief Executives Group and is the Hampshire CEO on the national LGA chief executive officer sounding board.

During her time at Havant and East Hampshire, Hopkins merged the council’s management teams and last year reportedly generated £445,000 in income from consultancy services.

Announcing the appointment, leader of Southampton council Christopher Hammond said: “I am delighted that the council has agreed to appoint Sandy Hopkins as the next chief executive.

“She impressed us with her excellent track record, leadership experience, partnership approach, and ability to deliver innovative services. I am confident she has the skills and passion to take the city to the next level and lead us through the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

The previous chief executive, Dawn Baxendale, held the post for five years before leaving in April to take over at Birmingham City Council.

Hopkins said: “I am so thrilled to have this great opportunity to be the new chief executive of Southampton City Council. I am passionate about public services and getting up every morning to make a difference to people’s lives and the places they live and work is the best job in the world.

“As a local who has been able to enjoy all this great city has to offer I now look forward to being part of the team which delivers hundreds of services to residents, businesses and visitors every day.”

She said she was particularly excited to work with the many “fantastic” public, private and voluntary partnerships that work together “to shape this wonderful city and ensure its future success at local and global levels.”

Southampton was recently in the news after protests were held against the council’s decision to close its two remaining care homes earlier this month.

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