Sharon Lowe has been appointed solicitor to the council with Braintree DC, following her admission by the Law Society. It is the first time for a decade the council has had its own solicitor. Ms Lowe joined the council in 1988 under the Youth Training Scheme and began training as a legal executive in 1989. She progressed to legal officer in 1996 and was promoted to legal services manager while studying to qualify as a solicitor.
David Hume has been appointed chief executive of Scottish Borders Council. He is currently director of corporate services with Edinburgh City Council. Mr Hume joined Strathclyde RC in 1980 and Lothian RC in 1986, where he was appointed deputy director of corporate services in 1992. He moved to Edinburgh as director of strategic policy in 1996.
Colin Cheesman, chief executive of Cheshire CC, is to retire later this year. Mr Cheesman, a solicitor, joined the council in 1973 as an assistant county secretary and was later director in the chief executive's office and group director of both support services and information and leisure services.
Allen Sugg, head of amenity and environmental services with Torbay BC, has been appointed head of operational services with Restormel BC. Nick Hibbett, environmental health manager with Carrick DC, has been appointed head of environmental services with Restormel.
Vennetta Johnston has been appointed assistant chief executive (policy and performance) with Nottingham City Council. She was previously assistant director (corporate development and strategic planning) with Trafford MBC social services where she had previously worked as head of service (access and strategic support teams). Ms Johnston began her career as a psychiatric nurse in Solihull. She entered local government as assistant mental health officer with Walsall MBC in 1983 and joined Birmingham as manager of the Handsworth Health and Social Care Centre in 1986. She was appointed area manager for residential services with Wolverhampton MBC social services and was promoted to quality assurance officer, then senior policy officer.
Jacqueline Pratt, county manager for learning disability services with Lincolnshire CC, has been appointed lead inspector for best value with the Best Value Inspection Service in the southern region.
Anna Rae has been appointed to the new post of qualifications framework manager with the education and cultural services department at Oldham MBC. She joins Oldham from Manchester City Council, where she has worked since 1987.
Martyn Cribb, Keith Hedger and Chris Beek have joined Capita SES to work on developing strategies and materials to support school improvement. Mr Cribb was previously head of standards and school development and deputy director of education at Tower Hamlets LBC. Mr Hedger was previously mathematics adviser, then senior adviser, working jointly for Shropshire CC and Telford & Wrekin Council. Mr Beek was previously senior education officer with Norfolk CC. He was seconded as an adviser to the special education needs division of the then Department for Education & Employment from September 2000-March 2001.
Eleanor Curry, director of education with East Renfrewshire Council since 1995, is to retire at the end of the year. Ms Currie began in teaching and became education officer with Strathclyde RC, where she was a divisional education officer for several years. She holds a number of offices, including director of the Scottish Urban Renewal Forum and as a member of the General Teaching Council. She chairs the Scottish Executive's review of psychological services to be published this year.
Ernie Jarvis has been appointed head of corporate finance with Wandsworth LBC. He was previously financial controller with the council.
Paul Cutner, co-ordination accountant with Blackburn with Darwen BC, has been appointed accounting services manager with the council. Michael Hynes, senior accounting technician, has been appointed grants accountant.
Jitendra Sheth has been appointed audit manager with Hillingdon LBC. He was previously a senior auditor with the council.
John Reid has retired as pensions manager with Surrey CC. He has been succeeded by Paul Barker, who was previously with the Police Federation.
Jonathan Ruddock-West, principal solicitor with East Sussex CC, has been appointed assistant director - legal and community services with the council. He replaces Paul O'Sullivan, who has joined city solicitors in London.
Bill Pearch, head of strategic initiatives with Ashford BC, has been appointed head of housing services with Middlesbrough Council. Mr Pearch previously worked in housing posts in Nottingham and the West Midlands.
William Jarvis, Honorary Alderman of Birmingham City Council, and a Labour member during three periods as a city councillor, has died aged 79. Mr Jarvis sat on a number of council committees during his periods of service, and was chair of the public libraries committee in 1959-60. He was vice chair of the personnel and administration committee in 1974-75.