Preferred candidate for new West Northamptonshire Council's first chief executive revealed

Shadow authority leader: 'Anna has emerged as the best of the best'
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The preferred candidate to be the first chief executive of the new West Northamptonshire Council has been revealed.

Northamptonshire County Council deputy chief executive and director of adult services, Anna Earnshaw, was the stand-out applicant following a competitive national recruitment drive, according to the council.

The shadow authority for the new council, which is making preparations ahead of its formation on April 1, 2021, will vote on her appointment on Tuesday, August 18, but it is expected to pass.

The preferred candidate for the first chief executive of West Northants Council, Anna EarnshawThe preferred candidate for the first chief executive of West Northants Council, Anna Earnshaw
The preferred candidate for the first chief executive of West Northants Council, Anna Earnshaw

“I am absolutely delighted to have been offered this exciting opportunity to be the first chief executive of the new West Northamptonshire Council," she said.

“I am looking forward to working with the leader and members in preparing for April 2021 as well as ensuring that all our staff and residents can feel confident about our plans to create the new council and are excited about our future.”

The local government structure in Northamptonshire is being changed from the current two-tier system into two unitary authorities because of the financial collapse of the county council in 2018.

West Northamptonshire Council will replace Northampton, South Northamptonshire and Daventry councils while North Northamptonshire Council will take over Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby and East Northamptonshire local authorities.

The government requires the shadow authority to appoint a permanent chief executive before December 31 - Ms Earnshaw is expected to take her position from October 1.

There was an extensive interest in this role from internal and external candidates, according to the shadow authority, which concluded with a 'comprehensive' assessment day involving representative from various sectors.

Ms Earnshaw is said to have a career in leadership across the public and private sector, with experience of business change and transformation in addition to the social care and health -agenda over the last four years - she is also already heavily involved in the Future Northants programme.

West Northants shadow authority leader Ian McCord said: "Anna has emerged as the best of the best, and we are delighted to put her forward to lead the officer team in the new West Northants Council.

“Our ambition is for a strong, efficient and financially responsible new council - a fresh start for local government in the area. Anna will be absolutely central to the delivery of this vision.”

Work on shaping the new leadership team continues in September with the permanent selections for the director of finance, legal, adults services and the joint role of children’s statutory officers.