Mr Neill is currently chief operating officer at Northamptonshire CC, a position to which he was appointed less than a year after joining that authority in early 2002 as corporate director. In Northamptonshire, Mr Neill is recognised as the chief architect of an improvement plan hailed in the council as the most important document placed before council in a generation. He formulated and established a radically improved management structure driving the delivery of better services to Northamptonshire CC's customers. Mr Neill has introduced a wide-ranging program of improvements that has dynamically moved NCC forward, blending achievement with a real sense of purpose - to become an excellent council. Responsible too for strategic finance, Mr Neill established effective budgeting and priority-setting: one result is that Northamptonshire CC now has the lowest council tax increase in the UK. Also leading the development of the largest-ever strategic partnership in the UK, covering a wide range of business support services from IT and HR, to facilities management and county supplies, Mr Neill has negotiated with a major strategic partner, and secured multi-million pound new investment and cost-savings along with improved services.
A Scotsman, his heart is in Wales where he has lived for almost a decade. He looks forward to moving back to the region, with his wife and three children. In his new role, Mr Neill will lead the council's management team, spearheading development of an improved organization, delivering improved services. Mr Neill will act as its principal policy adviser, ensuring that the council builds on the progress it has made since it invited the Audit Commission to inspect and advise on the way forward.
Mr Neill's responsibilities will include managing the council's corporate management team, delivering the fundamental change programme required and working closely with members to ensure the effective development and operation of the board and the whole council. He will also work closely with partners and stakeholders in the region including the local health board, the superintendent of police and the commercial sector.
By 2010, Merthyr Tydfil CBC will be recognised as a vibrant, thriving regional centre for the Valleys.
Merthyr Tydfil CBC leader Harvey Jones said: 'Alistair has a proven track record of strategic leadership with major organizations, turning ambitions into real achievements. All of the council's party leaders and its members look forward to Alistair taking up his appointment to lead Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council to deliver the changes the community is entitled to.'
Mr Neill added: 'Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council is entering a most exciting period. It is a regio n with a tremendously vibrant, proud history, and there are a great many new opportunities for its future, which I am determined the county borough will grasp. I am delighted to be involved in leading the organization towards some of these important goals, and I am honoured to play a key part in its ambitions.'