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Chief to become Birmingham director

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Newcastle-under-Lyme chief executive Mark Barrow is to join Birmingham City Council as strategic director of development.

Mr Barrow has spent three years with Newcastle-under-Lyme during which time he has “transformed a string of universally underperforming ‘one star’ services into ‘three and four star’ operations which were all rated among the top 25% in country by the Audit Commission”, a Birmingham statement said.

Birmingham leader Mike Whitby (Con), said: “Recruiting the correct person to this role was of critical importance in helping us develop our economy, quality of life, global status and role as a regional leader, both now, and far into the future.

Mr Barrow will be responsible for strategic management of the city’s regeneration, development, planning, transportation strategy and climate change functions.

He has worked at Birmingham before, spending six years with the city in the early 1990s as a senior surveyor.

Meanwhile, Birmingham’s strategic director for children, young people and families Tony Howell is to retire in January, when he will be 60.

He said: “I have really enjoyed working with the young people of this city and appreciate the hard work and support of the whole of the children’s workforce during the last eight-and-a-half-years.”

During his time in Birmingham the proportion of pupils gaining five or more GCSEs graded A* to C has gone up from 45.3% to 72.7%.

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