Replacements for top West Sussex job

cleared from horsham graphics
cleared from horsham graphics

AS West Sussex County Council loses its chief executive, two people have been identified for the roles which will replace him.

Earlier this month, leader of the council Louise Goldsmith announced the chief executive job would be axed, and a chief operating director and temporary transformation director would be appointed instead.

A cross-party panel of councillors led by Mrs Goldsmith carried out interviews on Monday and identified two candidates.

Council members will be asked to approve the internal appointment of Diane Ashby to the interim chief operating officer post and external appointment of 
Gill Steward to that of interim transformation director when it meets on February 14.

“I am delighted to be recommending to full council the appointment of both Gill and Diane to these new posts,” said Mrs Goldsmith.

“I am confident this new structure and these two people will move this organisation forward and deliver our vision for how we want and need West Sussex County Council to now operate in the future.

“I look forward to working with them both to help councillors and our staff continue to make a real difference to our residents and meet, and overcome, the challenges we will face in the future.”

Diane is currently director for services operations at West Sussex County Council and joined the authority in 2006. Her portfolio of responsibilities include highways and transport, waste management, information services, business improvement, support services and facilities management.

Before joining West Sussex County Council, she had a commercial background, working for The Body Shop and Marks and Spencer.

She said: “I am delighted to have been offered this position and look forward to the part I will play leading West Sussex County Council through the challenges that lie ahead. “

Gill has 17 years’ experience of successful corporate management in the public sector, most recently as corporate director for three unitary councils. She was also the first civilian director of corporate development for the second-largest police force in the UK and the first full time chief executive of a prominent police authority.

She said: “The council has a clear and compelling vision of how it needs to change to deliver better outcomes to local people. I am thrilled to be offered the opportunity to support the members 
and staff in making this vision a reality.”

Kieran Stigant, the current chief executive, will leave the council on Friday (January 31).