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Essex appoints new chief

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Essex CC has appointed a new chief executive.

Swindon BC’s chief executive Gavin Jones will take up the role in January, it has been announced.

The role of chief executive had been handed to senior officers at Essex on a rota after Joanna Killian left the local authority in May to join KPMG as a partner in the firm’s UK Government and Public Services Practice.

At the time the council had warned that it could take up to a year to appoint a new chief executive.

But councillors met today and agreed to appoint Mr Jones.

Leader David Finch (Con) said Mr Jones was taking on “one of the biggest and most challenging roles in local government”.

“He brings with him a wealth of experience,” said Cllr Finch. “At Swindon, he helped turn round the council, gaining a reputation for organisational development, partnership working and innovation.

“He has also held high profile positions in the private sector working for global companies within the telecommunications, travel and IT Industries.”

Mr Jones joined Swindon in 2003 as deputy chief executive and worked alongside the interim chief executive to help stabilise what was at the time a failing authority.

Mr Jones was appointed chief executive on a permanent basis in 2006 and has overseen savings of more than £300m. Prior to joining Swindon, Mr Jones worked in a variety of roles in the private sector including a stint as vice president of customer service for air transport communications company SITA.

In a statement Mr Jones said he was “truly honoured” to have been appointed Essex’s chief executive.

“I will bring commitment and energy to the role, and I know that in working collaboratively with a wide range of partners and stakeholders we have the ability to build on what has already been achieved and give the county an increasingly prosperous future,” he said. “It won’t always be easy, but I am absolutely certain it can be done.”

The council’s existing arrangements for interim cover will remain in place until Mr Jones starts in the new year.

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