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New interim finance director on the way to deal with ‘critical time’ at Surrey CC

Surrey County Council has appointed a former London borough senior financial officer as their new interim director of finance.

Leigh Whitehouse, who is currently the interim director of finance and corporate services at the London Borough of Bexley, will join the council on 3 September.

Prior to his role at Bexley, he held senior financial officer positions at the London boroughs of Kingston and Hammersmith & Fulham.

Whitehouse will come in at a “critical time” for Surrey, council leader David Hodge said. The new interim director of finance’s appointment comes on the same day as reports surfaced claiming that Surrey CC failed to collect £8m in unpaid taxes for 2017-18.

His appointment follows the departure of Sheila Little last month, and Surrey will begin the recruitment process for a permanent post holder will start in September.

Cllr Hodge commented: “It is excellent news that Leigh will be joining Surrey. He will arrive at a critical time for the council as we take forward our transformation programme and continue the vital work of achieving a sustainable budget that can deliver the best possible services and support to our residents.”

Whitehouse said he is joining the authority at a time when strong financial leadership has “never been more important.”

“The financial challenges facing the council are significant, but so is the commitment to tackle them and the potential within the organisation to do so. I’m looking forward to meeting colleagues and getting on with things as soon as possible,” he commented.

Joanna Killian, Surrey County Council’s chief executive, said: “I am really pleased Leigh will be coming to Surrey. He has an excellent track record in the sector and solid experience of managing council finances.”

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Image credit: Surrey County Council


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