Swindon Borough Council’s Chief Executive, Gavin Jones, has been appointed as the new Chief Executive at one of Britain’s largest local authorities, Essex County Council.
Gavin will take up his new role in the New Year. He has served as Chief Executive at Swindon since July 2006, having joined the council in 2004. His new appointment was approved at a meeting of Essex’s full council on 13 October.
He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Swindon Borough Council and it has been a privilege to serve as the Chief Executive in the town where I grew up. I am proud of what has been achieved by everyone in my time here. However, the challenge offered by Essex County Council was too great for me to ignore and I am very pleased to have been entrusted with taking that council forward.”
Gavin, who is 54, joined Swindon Borough Council in 2004, having previously worked in a variety of private sector organisations. He was listed as one of the top 50 New Radicals in the Sunday Observer’s national campaign for Britain’s most innovative leaders, and voted one of the most influential leaders in Local Government.
He is a Board Member of the national think tank the New Local Government Network, (NLGN), a Trustee of the Prospect Hospice in Swindon, and a Board Director of SOLACE Enterprises.
Swindon Borough Council Leader Cllr David Renard said: “Gavin has been an integral part in turning Swindon council into a high-performing local authority from the point, not long before he took over, when it was failing. This has been of immense benefit to everyone who lives here.
“He has pioneered partnership working with other organisations which has delivered so much in terms of efficiencies. He has shown great personal drive and determination in his commitment to Swindon and its cause, and he has done all this with an unfailing sense of humour. I wish him well in his new role.
“We will now start the process of finding his successor, in consultation with my colleagues.”
Essex County Council is one of the biggest local authorities in the country, employing over 7,000 people and managing a gross budget of £1.78bn. The county has 1.4m residents and the council is currently undertaking the biggest transformation programme in its history.
It has frozen council tax since 2010/11 whilst delivering savings of over £450m, and further budgeted savings of £107m by the end of the current year. Over the next three years, it needs to find an additional £235m in savings.