County council chief executive to stand down

Joanna Simons will be standing down as chief executive of Oxfordshire County Council in June NNL-150130-145242001
Joanna Simons will be standing down as chief executive of Oxfordshire County Council in June NNL-150130-145242001

The chief executive of Oxfordshire County Council will be stepping down as part of a council restructure.

Joanna Simons will be leaving the local authority in June and will not be replaced.

A statement from the council said it was part of a wider plan to protect frontline services ahead of possible future cuts to local government.

Mrs Simons said: “This may seem like a radical change – and it is – but radical change is needed to transform the public sector so it can cope with the financial challenges ahead.

“New solutions are needed and it is right the county council pushes ahead so it can do more to join up across the public sector.

“As a local resident, I love Oxfordshire and it has been a fabulous place to live and work.

“It has been a huge privilege to work for the county for the last ten years and I am really proud of all we have achieved.”

Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “This is a big change for the council and it has not been a decision I have made lightly but it is borne of the need to find new ways to deliver essential frontline services in the certain knowledge that further austerity is coming the way of the public sector over coming years.”

The council said it will be moving to a more ‘distributed’ model of leadership with decisions to be made further down the organisation and officers and councillors working closer together.

Other modernisation plans include more joint working with other organisations and local authorities.