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Lancashire appoints Whitehall director as interim chief

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Lancashire CC has appointed Angie Ridgwell as interim chief executive and director of resources and approved the dismissal of Jo Turton following a restructuring of the council’s senior management.

The appointment of Ms Ridgwell, who has been director general, corporate services at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy since October last year, was approved by full council on Thursday.

Lancashire’s cabinet in August rejected the advice of James Goudie QC and approved a plan to merge Ms Turton’s role with that of the section 151 officer to create a new position of chief executive and director of resources.

Ms Turton was prevented from taking on the joint role as she was not a member of an accountancy body and has now been given three months’ notice under the terms of a compulsory redundancy approved by full council.

Ms Ridgwell, who has agreed a 12-month contract with Lancashire, has previously been director general finance and corporate services at the Department for Energy and Climate Change, strategic director for corporate services and strategic director of organisational design at Bristol City Council and Thurrock Council chief executive.

She said she was “extremely proud” to be joining one of the country’s largest councils.

Ms Ridgwell added: “I am under no illusions about the scale of the challenge ahead and I am sure that the county council’s members and employees have the passion, commitment and expertise to work with me and rise to that challenge to create a more financially stable council that will future-proof our improvements to critical services.”

Lancashire leader Geoff Driver (Con) said the council is facing an “unprecedented financial challenge”.

He added: “Our restructure of senior management recognises that challenge and required us to find someone who not only has highly developed skills as a visionary leader, but also has the necessary professional finance qualifications and experience of managing the finances of a major organisation.”

The voluntary redundancy of Lancashire’s director of governance, finance and public services Ian Young was also approved by full council last week.

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