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Districts appoint interim replacement for Sandy Hopkins

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Two district councils have appointed an interim chief executive to replace Sandy Hopkins when she takes over the top job at Southampton City Council.

Gill Kneller will take charge of East Hampshire DC and Havant BC from next month. She is already an executive director of both councils.

Ms Kneller said: “I am delighted to be taking on this new and challenging role and thank the councillors for demonstrating their faith in me.

“These are exciting times for local government, with plenty of challenges but also plenty of opportunities. Across both councils we have fantastic colleagues and progressive councillors who are committed to providing quality services to their residents.

“I am extremely proud to have this incredible opportunity and I will be working hard for our customers and communities.”

The two councils share a management team and many services.

In addition to Ms Kneller’s appointment, Simon Jenkins has been named interim director of regeneration and place, while Natalie Meagher has been appointed interim director of neighbourhoods and operations. Both appointments will take effect from January.

LGC reported last month how Ms Hopkins, who had been chief executive of Havant since 2007 and of both councils since 2009, will take over from Southampton’s interim chief executive Richard Crouch in the new year.

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