[E]den District Council’s Chief Executive (CEO), Dr Robin Hooper (56) has announced he is leaving the authority after seven years’ service.
Dr Hooper said: “On Monday (15 January 2018), I informed the Council Leader of my intention to leave the authority. My last day as Eden CEO will be 31 May 2018, which should provide sufficient time for the Council to complete a recruitment exercise for a new CEO.
“In 2011, I was appointed as CEO of Eden District Council for a nine month period to help with the challenges the Council faced at this time. These included being Chair of the Multi Agency Group for Appleby Horse Fair, the threatened closure of the local cinema, threatened closure of Newton Rigg College, the Council’s financial challenges and governance issues involving former Members together with a host of other matters.
“Having put in place measures to resolve the various matters during 2011, the Council invited me to remain as Chief Executive. I certainly did not believe that I would still be here some seven years later. Over recent months, I have been considering what I would like to be involved with in the future. Having previously been involved in many major public and private schemes and helped turn around failing public bodies/authorities etc, I would like to create capacity in my life to be able to do more of this.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Eden, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to all colleagues and Members for the support they have given to me. I wish them all well for the future.”
The Council is currently looking at what recruitment process will be put in place to appoint a new Chief Executive and a report will go before Members on 15 February 2018.
Eden District Council Leader, Councillor Kevin Beaty, said: “Seven years ago Eden District Council faced a huge financial challenge. The Council had a deficit budget and was facing government cuts to help balance the nation’s budget. Dr Robin Hooper was employed by the Council, which was then led by Councillor Gordon Nicolson OBE, for a nine month period to help the organisation through a very difficult time of reorganisation.
“Dr Hooper was persuaded to stay on to implement the changes proposed and steer the Council towards a solid financial future. During those seven years, with Dr Hooper’s help and experience, Eden District Council has become a financial success while making no cuts to its services.
“At a time when the UK is entering a period of uncertainty, Government, businesses and individuals are being asked to step up to the plate to make a success of Brexit and with the planned upgrade of the A66, we are lucky to have a stable Council with strong financial reserves so that we can be at the forefront of growth and prosperity for Cumbria.
“We are now able to consider a budget this year which is able to deliver on the following projects:
- Create a £6m fund to build and purchase affordable homes for local people and key workers
- Deliver grants to help local parishes and community groups deliver projects in their areas
- Build new workspace in Penrith town centre
- Create Food Enterprise Zones in all our major towns
- Design a Masterplan for future prosperity
“On top of this Eden District Council is strong enough to be able to help people’s finances by not raising the level of Council tax to deliver our services. On behalf of all Members of the Council and officers who have served the district under Robin’s term as Chief Executive, I would like to thank him for his service to and dedication to our District and wish him well with his next challenging project.”
For more information about Eden District Council visit www.eden.gov.uk