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Northants interim chief to leave

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Northamptonshire CC’s interim chief executive Damon Lawrenson is to leave his post next week.

Mr Lawrenson’s departure has been confirmed by the council.

“As the council transitions into a new future direction the acting leader Matt Golby (Con) and Damon have agreed that this is the right time to conclude the interim role next week,” it said.

Andrew Quincey, director of commercial, place and health, will become acting chief executive while the council awaits housing and communities secretary Sajid Javid’s response to inspector Max Caller’s report.

Mr Lawrenson’s departure comes after the county council became the first local authority in almost two decades to issue a section 114 notice and Mr Caller’s critical report into the management of Northamptonshire.

Mr Lawrenson, who became interim chief executive in November following Paul Blantern’s departure last year, was previously the council’s interim group director of finance.

In an exclusive interview published on LGC today Mr Lawrenson issued a robust defence of his role in Northamptonshire’s financial troubles.

In a statement issued by the council Mr Lawrenson said: “Now is the right time for me to move on from this position. I wanted to see the council through the 2018-19 budget setting process, the inspection process and then latterly through the advisory notice from our auditors. With these now completed I feel it is time for the council and indeed all councils in the county to move on to the next phase of their combined future.

“I truly believe that this council is full of excellent people who have not only shown they can face up to some of the biggest challenges ever faced by a local authority but have shown the aptitude, skill and awareness to navigate what will no doubt be difficult and turbulent waters ahead.”

Cllr Golby said: “Damon has been an ambassador for this county at a very difficult time. He has steered this council through some unprecedented territory and has faced up to the challenges that have emerged with his inimitable, can-do attitude.

“Damon and I have agreed that this is now the best time for him to end his temporary tenure with us. He has steered us through the period of our inspection, and our recent budget setting process. These have been some of the most difficult challenges this or indeed any other council has ever faced. I can only thank him for his work and dedication.”

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