Mawson takes the reins for Kirklees

Steve Mawson has been confirmed as the new chief executive of the West Yorkshire local authority.

The decision was rubber-stamped at an extraordinary full council meeting on 18 August.

Councillors launched a search for the new chief executive after Jacqui Gedman, announced her retirement in March. A unanimous decision by the council’s cross-party appointments panel meant that Mawson’s name was put forward for approval at the council meeting.

Mawson will join Kirklees from Gloucestershire County Council where he currently works as deputy chief executive and executive director of corporate resources. His responsibilities at Gloucs include setting the council’s long-term vision as well as responsibility for the authority’s finances, IT, property portfolio, communications and human resources.

He also has 15 years’ experience with Doncaster Council where he served as chief financial officer.

Mawson is due to begin in post at the beginning of October but is already working with the council’s senior leadership on transition.

Acting leader of Kirklees Cllr Cathy Scott said: “I’m really pleased that Steve’s appointment has been approved by council. Steve has extensive experience in local government and an impressive record of success. He is the right person to help us deliver on our priorities and was the unanimous choice of the appointments panel.

“At the outset of the recruitment process, we were clear that we were looking for someone who could help deliver our vision for Kirklees. We’re confident Steve can work with our staff, partners and communities to do exactly that.

“Steve’s extensive experience coupled with his financial expertise will also be major assets for Kirklees as we move forward through the economically challenging times faced by councils across the country.”

Mawson said: “It’s an honour to be appointed as Kirklees Council’s chief executive. I am excited to have the opportunity to lead council staff and assist the council leadership in delivering on the ambitious and robust plans for the future of Kirklees. My focus is firmly on that and on providing stability in the uncertain times we are facing.

“I am thoroughly enjoying my time so far in Kirklees and I can’t wait to spend more time getting to know the team and getting involved in our communities.”

The appointment comes shortly after a leadership change at another West Yorkshire council, with Lorraine O’Donnell taking over in the top job at Bradford from Kersten England.

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