The new chief executive of Dudley MBC has been unveiled and tasked with building on proposals to create a combined authority in the West Midlands.
Sarah Norman, strategic director for community at Wolverhampton City Council, will take up the £165,000-a-year position in the new year.
She will replace John Polychronakis, who is retiring from the authority after almost 40 years in local government.
In a statement Ms Norman said: “I’m delighted to have been offered this exciting new challenge. I’m really looking forward to working with a new team of colleagues and to serving the people of Dudley.”
Ms Norman joins the authority as it plans to create what the council claims to be the leanest management structure in the country, by cutting the number of senior management positions from 22 to 11. The council estimates the restructuring process will save £1m.
David Sparks (Lab), leader of Dudley MBC and chair of the LGA, said: “I am delighted to be able to welcome Sarah to the authority and look forward to working with her to drive through fundamental change. As well as driving a fundamental restructuring of the council, she will be specifically tasked to build external partnerships as we move towards a combined authority.
“These are challenging times for any local authority, but I believe this appointment will help keep us ahead of the curve and take us from a good local authority to a national leader in local government.”