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Cumbria County Council appoints new Chief Executive

Katherine Fairclough
Katherine Fairclough

[T]oday Cumbria County Council has announced that it has appointed Katherine Fairclough as its new Chief Executive.

This appointment is subject to formal agreement by Cumbria County Council at its Full Council meeting in January 2017.  Katherine will take over from existing Chief Executive Diane Wood in March 2017 (final date to be agreed).

Katherine is currently Deputy Chief Executive at Warrington Borough Council where she is responsible for a wide range of services including resources, strategic commissioning, finance, ICT, HR, legal, democratic services, partnerships, performance, organisational change, commissioning of third sector, leisure, libraries and cultural services and  joint working with health & community safety.

Commenting on her appointment Katherine said: “I’m delighted to join Cumbria County Council as the new Chief Executive and am looking forward to building on the legacy of a One Team approach. All local authorities face huge challenges but I am sure that, with the support of elected members, staff and partners from across the county, we can deliver the Council’s ambitions for the people of Cumbria. I’ve already had a warm welcome and I look forward to getting out and about to meet the people and organisations that make Cumbria such a special place and listening to what people have to say. The best way to face all the challenges ahead of us is to work together.”

Cllr Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council and Leader of the Labour Group, said: “I’m delighted with this appointment and I am looking forward to working closely with Katherine in the future. She brings with her a range of skills that make her ideal for Cumbria from her strong commitment to people, as well as to partnership, which are both key attributes to us as we move forward. I am now looking forward to working together to make the changes we need to deliver services differently both now and in the future.”

Cllr Clare Feeney-Johnson, from the Liberal Democrat Group said: “As the successful applicant Katherine brings to Cumbria extensive experience and a clear shared commitment to what we are trying to achieve for the people of Cumbria. This is obviously a key role for Cumbria, ensuring that we remain on our already established journey of improvement, a  journey that still has difficult challenges ahead as we continue to strive to deliver services and, at the same time, achieve the financial savings that we need to deliver in the coming years.”

Cllr James Airey, Leader of the Conservative Group said: “We are all delighted with the final outcome. Having had the pleasure of meeting Katherine I can say that she is clearly a skilled and experienced local government officer with high aspirations for Cumbria.  She is also very grounded and I feel that she will bring with her all of the skills we need for the future.”

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