Cumbria County Council announces appointment of new Chief Executive

Cumbria County Council has announced that it has offered Gill Steward the role as its new Chief Executive.

The recommendation to appoint is still subject to formal agreement by the authority at its full council meeting in June.

Once agreed, Ms Steward will take over from current Chief Executive, Katherine Fairclough, and is expected to start her new role in early August.

An experienced and skilled public sector leader, Ms Steward is currently Chair of an economic think tank and her recent roles include Chief Executive of the London Borough of Bexley and Interim Chief Executive at West Sussex County Council.

She has a background in economic development, place and community services and was part of the Executive team at Cornwall Council which took the county successfully through the unitary process.

Commenting on her appointment, Ms Steward said:

“I am delighted to be joining Cumbria County Council as the council’s new Chief Executive and I am looking forward to building on its very successful reputation and the fantastic work of Katherine.  

“Cumbria is a very special place and I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to work with the county’s leaders, partners, communities and the council’s fantastic employees to help shape its future.

“This is a critical time for Cumbria, the challenges of recovery and local government reorganisation are significant, but Cumbria has a huge opportunity not only to recover, but to build a better place and future for the people of Cumbria.”

Leader of Cumbria County Council, Councillor Stewart Young added: “I’m delighted with this appointment and I am looking forward to working closely with Gill.

“She brings with her the perfect range of skills, experience and leadership that we need now and for the future.

“I am genuinely looking forward to working together with her to make the changes we need to deliver council services differently for our residents, both now and in the future.”

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