The joint chief executive of Cherwell District and South Northamptonshire Councils has announced she will step down from her post in March next year.
Sue Smith made the announcement to staff and councillors last Thursday citing her impending 60th birthday as the catalyst for her decision.
She will remain in charge of the two councils until March 2017 before reviewing her options to take up a less demanding post elsewhere.
Sue said: “I am approaching my 60th birthday and have decided the time is right for me to work fewer hours and to have more free time. This isn’t possible in my current post so I will stand down as the joint chief executive in March next year. Following this, I will look to pursue a new role elsewhere so I can find the balance between being occupied by work while freeing up more time for recreational hobbies.
“I have spent 37 years working in local government and have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges this has brought. The last five years have been spent at Cherwell and South Northants where there have been too many success stories to mention; however I think the implementation of the joint working initiative across the two authorities does stand out for me. Although the members had set the plan up for joint working before I was appointed, being able to carry out that plan and make it a success has been amazing as there were never any guarantees it would work.”
Sue’s career in local government began as a recreation assistant at Anglesey Borough Council 37 years ago. She then moved up the ranks across four other councils before leaving her post as chief executive of Harborough District Council in 2011 to become the first joint chief executive of Cherwell and South Northamptonshire Councils.
Since then she has implemented joint working across the majority of the two councils’ service areas which has generated millions of pounds worth of savings to each authority.
Sue will continue in her current role as the joint chief executive of both councils until March next year before deciding upon her next career move.
Discussions about the vacant post will now take place between the leaders and members of both councils before a decision is announced in due course.