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New Chief Executive for Stroud District Council

Published: Thursday, 9 August, 2018

Stroud District Council announced today that Kathy O’Leary has been appointed as its new Chief Executive.

A rigorous selection process involved councillors, council employees and external stakeholders, with the recommendation being made by an all-party group of councillors and party leaders.

Members of the council voted unanimously in favour of the recommendation.

Council Leader Doina Cornell said:

“We are really delighted to welcome Kathy to her new role. There was an excellent list of candidates to choose from but through the two days of assessments and interviews a clear picture emerged with Kathy best fitting the bill of what we were looking for in a new Chief Executive. She has the track record of leading at a senior level, understanding how to meet the real challenges local government faces today by working in collaboration with councillors, staff and local communities. We also loved how keen she was to come and work here in Stroud district and look forward to when she starts later this year.”

Kathy, who was at the meeting, said:

“I am delighted to be joining Stroud District Council as its new Chief Executive. I am looking forward to working with local people, the council and its partners to continue to deliver high quality services and work ambitiously for the benefit of the residents and businesses of this attractive and diverse district.”

Kathy has 32 years’ experience in the public sector, starting her career in local government as a Planning Officer with Hampshire County Council. She has subsequently worked for a number of district councils in Surrey, progressively moving into more senior management positions, and is currently Strategic Director of Resources at Tandridge District Council in Surrey. Earlier in her career she also spent a year lecturing in Geography (Urban Planning & Development) at the University of Leeds.

Kathy is expected to join the council in November. The current Chief Executive David Hagg, who has served in the post for 17 years, recently announced his intention to retire.

David Hagg will leave Stroud District Council in good shape. Residents and businesses have shown a high level of satisfaction with the council over a number of years, in marked contrast to the national trend which shows a decline in satisfaction with councils.

Stroud District Council’s latest annual survey showed that residents’ satisfaction with the council was 79% - just 1% down on the previous year’s highest-ever figure, with business satisfaction remaining the same as the previous year’s all time high of 70%

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