All change at top of West Sussex County Council

All change at top of West Sussex County Council


West Sussex County Councillors at the next Full Council are asked to approve the two people selected to lead the local authority over the coming months.

A cross party panel of Councillors led by Council Leader Louise Goldsmith interviewed on Monday (January 27th) for a new interim Chief Operating Officer and interim Transformation Director.

Full Council are asked to ratify the internal appointment of Diane Ashby to the interim Chief Operating Officer post and external appointment of Gill Steward to interim Transformation Director when it meets on Friday February 14th.

Louise said: “I am delighted to be recommending to Full Council the appointment of both Gill and Diane to these new posts. I am confident that this new structure and these two people will move this organisation forward and deliver our vision for how we want and need West Sussex County Council to now operate in the future. I look forward to working with them both to help councillors and our staff continue to make a real difference to our residents and meet, and overcome, the challenges that we will face in the future.”

Diane is currently Director for Services Operations at West Sussex County Council and joined the authority in 2006. Her portfolio of responsibilities includes Highways and Transport, Waste Management, Information Services, Business Improvement, Support Services and Facilities Management. Before joining West Sussex County Council, Diane had a commercial background working for The Body Shop and Marks and Spencer.

Diane brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role of Chief Operating Officer.

She said: “I am delighted to have been offered this position and look forward to the part that I will play leading West Sussex County Council through the challenges that lie ahead. “

Gill has 17 years’ experience of successful corporate management in the public sector, most recently as Corporate Director for three unitary councils. Gill was also the first civilian Director of Corporate Development for the second largest police force in the UK and the first full time Chief Executive of a prominent police authority.

She said: “The Council has a clear and compelling vision of how it needs to change to deliver better outcomes to local people. I am thrilled to be offered the opportunity to support the members and staff in making this vision a reality.”

The new management model followed the joint decision by Louise and current Chief Executive Kieran Stigant that the role of chief executive as it stands be made redundant.  Kieran will leave the County Council on Friday January 31st.

He said: “Both Diane and Gill are very well suited to their new roles and to taking the Council forward. I congratulate them on their successful appointments and have every confidence that they will both be a great success.”

Pictured:  Interim Chief Operating Officer Diane Ashby