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District chief takes early retirement

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West Lindsey DC chief executive Manjeet Gill has taken early retirement, and the council is to take up to six months to decide whether it will retain the top role.

After seven years at the helm of the district, Ms Gill said the unexpected loss of her son last year had “made me reflect upon my priorities”.

Ms Gill had been deputy spokesman on housing for the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers, while she also played a key role in securing an ultimately doomed devolution deal for Greater Lincolnshire.

Manjeet Gill

Manjeet Gill

Manjeet Gill

In a statement Ms Gill said: “Losing my son unexpectedly last year has made me reflect upon my priorities after seven years at West Lindsey. Now that the local plan is delivered and the devolution partnership ceasing, the current circumstances have been opportune to allow me to step down with the council’s support and build upon this experience for the next stage of my career which must include more time with my remaining family.”

She praised councillors, staff and partners for shaping the council into a local authority which has “broken the mould to become more entrepreneurial and outward looking”.

Jeff Summers (Con), West Lindsey leader, said the council had no immediate plans to replace Ms Gill. He told LGC: “At the end of the six months we will sit down and review where we are and how smooth or bumpy the road has been.”

Chief operating officer Mark Sturgess has taken on the head of paid service role, Cllr Summers said.

In a statement Cllr Summers praised Ms Gill. He said: “Manjeet has taken us on a journey from a council where the Audit Commission was raising questions about its governance to one that is not only financially stronger by being more entrepreneurial, but most importantly more inspirational and able to develop successful partnerships.

“Her energy, resilience and most importantly relentless ambition for the district will be missed. I am grateful that she returned to work so fast when we were in the middle of our devolution negotiations after her personal tragedy last year.

“I also respect her judgment in deciding to step down now as I agree that it is the right time for the council.”

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