New chief executive appointed at Essex County Council

Gavin Jones, new chief executive at Essex County Council

Gavin Jones, new chief executive at Essex County Council - Credit: Archant

The new chief executive at Essex County Council will be paid £195,000 – £15,000 less than the former person in charge.

Gavin Jones, currently the chief executive at Swindon Borough Council, will take up the reins at County Hall in January.

He replaces Joanna Killian who held the position at the county council from 2006 until stepping down earlier this year to take up a role at accountancy firm KPMG.

Ms Killian’s salary – which had been considerably higher before two pay cuts totalling £27,000 three years’ ago – had come under the spotlight and prompted calls from opposition councillors at the authority for her replacement’s financial package to be carefully considered.

David Finch, county council leader, said: “Following a thorough and robust recruitment process, I am delighted to announce Gavin will be taking on what is one of the biggest and most challenging roles in local government.

“He brings with him a wealth of experience.

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“At Swindon he helped turn round the council, gaining a reputation for organisational development, partnership working and innovation. He has also held high profile positions in the private sector working for global companies within the telecommunications, travel and IT Industries.”

Mr Jones initially joined Swindon Borough Council in 2003 as deputy chief executive before being appointed to the top job in 2006. Since then he has driven a transformation programme securing savings of more than £300million.

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Before joining the public sector Mr Jones worked in a number of roles including as vice president for customer service at SITA.

He was listed as one of the top 50 “New Radicals” in the Observer’s campaign for Britain’s most innovative leaders, and Mr Jones is a board member of the national think tank the New Local Government Network.

Mr Jones said: “Essex is a fabulous county, rich in history but forward looking, and I am truly honoured to have been given the opportunity to serve as Essex County Council’s chief executive.

“During the recruitment process it quickly became clear to me the council’s elected members, staff and partners are not only passionate about their county but also ambitious for its future, and are absolutely focused on improving the lives of all Essex residents.

“I am very much looking forward to playing my part in that. I will bring commitment and energy to the role, and I know that in working collaboratively with a wide range of partners and stakeholders we have the ability to build on what has already been achieved and give the county an increasingly prosperous future.

“It won’t always be easy, but I am absolutely certain it can be done.”

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