Nicola Beach new chief executive of Suffolk County Council
- Credit: Archant
Essex County Council director Nicola Beach has been appointed the new chief executive of Suffolk County Council.
Ms Beach joined Essex in July of last year after previously being chief executive of Braintree District Council.
She is director of infrastructure and environment at Essex – and had previously worked there between 2004 and 2010.
She has also worked at South Norfolk Council.
Ms Beach was appointed after a series of interviews on Monday.
She will join Suffolk this summer. She will be responsible for a net budget of £500 million a year and lead the authority’s 5,200 staff.
Ms Beach, who has lived in Ipswich since 2005, said: “I’m delighted to be appointed as Suffolk County Council’s chief executive.
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“I’ve lived in Suffolk for many years and love this county. I am also passionate about delivering great services to local people and I look forward to joining a strong team at the county council and working with councillors, residents, colleagues and partners.”
The appointment follows an extensive recruitment and selection process which concluded this week.
Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble said: “We’re hugely ambitious for Suffolk. We want it to be a place where businesses thrive, children and families can flourish and people can grow older in good health. But that won’t just happen – we need first rate people leading our public services.
“In Nicola, I’m confident that we have found such a person. I very much look forward to working with Nicola in the coming months to continue delivering essential public services and overcoming the financial challenges we’re facing.”
Suffolk County Council’s Labour Group leader, Sarah Adams, has welcomed the appointment. She said: “I am delighted by the appointment of the new chief executive and am looking forward to welcoming Nicola in what are challenging times for local government.”
Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent Group leader, David Wood, echoed the welcome. He said: “Nicola is a very experienced and highly-regarded senior local government officer. I very much welcome her appointment and look forward to working with her later this year.”
All three group leaders have paid tribute to Sue Cook, who has acted as interim chief executive since September 2017 when Deborah Cadman left Suffolk County Council, describing the decision between Ms Beach and Sue Cook as “very little in it”.
Ms Cook will return to her role as corporate director health, wellbeing and children’s services when Ms Beach joins the council.
Mr Noble said: “I think it’s probably the toughest decision I have been involved in through all the years I have been in this council.”
“Sue has provided excellent leadership and stability for the council over the last six months, despite the ongoing financial challenges we’re facing.
“Her calm focus and creative thinking has helped the council to continue moving forward. We would like to put on record our sincere thanks for her excellent contribution and look forward to continuing to work closely with her.”