The appointment of the first Chief Executive of the new Buckinghamshire Council has been announced.
Rachael Shimmin, who is the current Chief Executive of Buckinghamshire County Council, will lead the brand new £1bn Buckinghamshire Council which will replace the existing County and District Councils on Wednesday 1st April 2020.
Buckinghamshire Council will be the second largest non-metropolitan unitary in England, providing all of the current county and district councils services across the county.
The appointment follows a national search to find the best candidate to lead the employees of the new council and a thorough recruitment process which started in early June 2019 and was overseen by the members of the Senior Appointment Sub Committee.
A team of more than 300 staff from the five current councils are working together to setup the new Buckinghamshire Council for April 2020 and Rachael who is the current interim head of paid service and implementation lead will continue to lead this work in creating the new council.
All five councils are united in their commitment to delivering the best result for residents, partners and businesses and making this the best new council for the future for Buckinghamshire.
In advance of the elections next year to the new council, the new Chief Executive will also work with the 202 elected members who make up the Shadow Authority and the decision making Shadow Executive to oversee the creation of the new council.
Rachael will now formally take up the position of Chief Executive almost three years since her arrival at Buckinghamshire County Council as the Chief Executive.
Rachael said: ‘Setting up the new Buckinghamshire Council is a once-in-a-career opportunity. The communities of Buckinghamshire deserve the best possible public services and I am excited to be heading up the organisation that will deliver them.
While the task ahead of us shouldn’t be underestimated, the programme to create the new council is well established and has a clear focus on what is required. I am determined to create an organisation that will lead the way in providing excellent services.‘
Leader of the Shadow Executive, Cllr Martin Tett, said: ‘Creating the new Buckinghamshire Council is a massive challenge but I know Rachael is the person who will ensure it happens and I look forward to working with them.
We have the opportunity here to improve services and create simpler, more efficient and effective local government that will deliver for all of our communities.‘
Deputy Leader of the Shadow Executive, Cllr Katrina Wood said: ‘This is an exciting step in the creation of the new unitary authority for Buckinghamshire and I’m confident that Rachael will lead employees to create a new council that brings together the best of the five councils to promote Buckinghamshire as a great place to live, work and do business.‘
Under the new council, residents will access services in a way very similar to the current set up. Residents will not see any major changes on day 1 of the Buckinghamshire Council, as all the councils involved are committed to ensuring a smooth transition to the new council.
After the transition to the new Buckinghamshire Council is complete, the focus of the new council will be to improve services for communities by bringing functions together as one council to work more efficiently.
Further information about the new Buckinghamshire Council and the Shadow Authority which has been set up to create it can be found at shadow.buckinghamshire.gov.uk.