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Merton LBC's new director of corporate services is Caroline Holland. She is currently deputy director of finance at Westminster City Council. She has also worked as acting director of finance at Westminster and starts work in April replacing Mike Parsons, who is retiring.

Ian Paske, chief executive at Stevenage BC, is retiring in March. Mr Paske, who began his career as a Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy qualified accountant at Bristol City Council, has 42 years local government service. He has worked in various senior finance roles at Stevenage, including finance director, before becoming chief executive in 1996.

Chorley BC has appointed Rebecca Ostapski as performance adviser, programmes and projects, responsible for managing the corporate projects and capital programme. She was previously project support officer.

John McIlveen has started work as assistant director, customer services at Nuneaton & Bedworth BC. He joined from Malvern Hills DC.

Debbie Chan has been appointed research director for the Local Government Research Unit at Ipsos MORI, focusing on participation and health and social care issues. She joins from Camden LBC where she held a senior post in the policy and research team.


Thelma Stober is the Greater London Authority's new head of legal and procurement. She will also act as the authority's monitoring officer. She was previously director of law, governance and procurement at the London Development Agency. Before this she was a senior legal adviser at the Greater London Authority.

Jill Bell has been appointed director of legal and procurement services at Slough BC. She previously worked as principal solicitor, contracts and was responsible for the council's legal and procurement services.


Alan Smith is Sedgefield BC's new director of resources. He is currently finance director at Derwentside DC and starts work next month, replacing Brian Allen who has been appointed chief executive at Sedgefield.


Dawn Lang is the new director of corporate services at Homes in Sedgemoor, the arm's-length management organisation for Sedgemoor DC's housing stock. She is currently executive director, responsible for South Warwickshire Housing Association at the Heart of England Housing Group. Previous roles include finance manager of North Wiltshire Housing Association, director of resources and director of services at South Wight Housing Association. Ms Lang starts work next month.

Ann Philcox has been appointed director of housing services at Homes in Sedgemoor. She currently works for the Audit Commission as housing inspector for the London region. Ms Philcox has worked in housing management roles for Horsham DC, Woking BC and Carrick DC, before moving to the Borough of Poole to take up a strategic housing role.

North Cornwall DC's new head of housing is Stuart Blackie (above). Currently housing services manager, Mr Blackie has worked for North Cornwall for the past 14 years. He replaces Mark Howell who is leaving to take on a new housing role in the south east.

The East of England Regional Assembly has appointed Adrian Cannard (above) as its new head of planning and housing. He replaces Alan Moore who retired in the summer. Mr Cannard who joined the assembly in 2003 was previously strategy and implementation team manager. Before this he worked in various planning roles with Buckinghamshire CC and Leicestershire CC.


Denise Platt has been named chair of the National Aids Trust. Dame Denise is currently chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection. She replaces Ruth Runciman, who has spent six years in the role.


Peter Bowes has been appointed project manager for the Bideford Regeneration Initiative, funded by Devon CC, Devon Renaissance, Torridge DC and Bideford Town Council. Mr Bowes previously worked at the University of Sunderland, focusing on the relationship between business, the community and the educational sector in culture and tourism.


Judith Pettersen, Hounslow LBC's new director of children's services and lifelong learning, has started work. She previously worked for Wokingham DC as assistant director of children's services. Ms Pettersen began her career as a teacher working in Sunderland and Wiltshire and later worked as an educational psychologist before taking up management roles.

Naomi Eisenstadt, chief adviser on children's services at the Department for Education & Skills, has been appointed director of the newly created Social Exclusion Task Force in the Cabinet Office. She previously worked as director of the DfES's Sure Start, Extended Schools & Families Group.


Will Scott, Worcester City Council's principal conservation officer, is retiring after 28 years service. Before joining Worcester he worked for Richmond upon Thames LBC.

Stevenage BC's new community safety manager is David Loader. He joins from the Metropolitan Police Service where he has held various management positions.


Flintshire CC leader Derek Darlington (Lab) has died from cancer, aged 63. He was also the Welsh Local Government Association's finance spokesman.

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