Meet the Leadership Team
Chief Executive since 2016, I am the most senior officer of the council and the statutory head of paid service. As well as leading the organisation I am the most senior adviser to the council on issues of strategy and policy; a role that is supported by colleagues in the leadership team - specifically those of the principal adviser on financial matters (the S151 officer) and the principal adviser on legal and governance matters (the Monitoring Officer). Together, these three posts are known as the statutory posts as they have responsibilities as set out in various pieces of legislation so as to ensure the sound running of the council. Alongside the other directors they make up the senior officer team at the council.
Leading on partnership working, influence and learning across a range of Devon and sub-regional groupings, I also work with colleagues across various arms of government to help secure better outcomes for Mid Devon, and I have been the lead chief executive for a number of peer reviews across the country as part of the Local Government Association’s sector-led improvement programme.
Prior to my current role, I worked as a Director of Growth & Strategy in the South East and also spent time in a range of place-based functions across county, unitary and district forms of local government having started my career in transport policy and strategy.
I enjoy living and working in Mid Devon; I regularly use my running trainers as a stress management tool and I’ve also been known to occasionally fall off my BMX while using the district’s excellent skateparks, much to colleagues’ amusement.
Deputy Chief Executive and Section 151 Officer
I began my local government career back in 1992, spending my first 10 years with East Devon DC, rising up through the finance ranks to the position of Finance Manager. In 2008 I joined Mid Devon DC as its Head of Finance, I was then promoted to Director of Finance, Assets & Resources in 2016, before taking on the role of Deputy Chief Executive in 2018. My current role gives me an overall level of corporate responsibility that spans all areas of the Council, but I have specific overview of: Corporate Finance, our Property Portfolio and all Corporate Assets, Council Tax, Business Rates, Housing Benefits and all Income Collection.
I have a BA in Economics, am a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and hold a certificate in Strategic Leadership in Modern Local Government.
I am very proud of my 12 years working within senior leadership roles at Mid Devon DC. The Council has come a very long way during that time and sees the delivery of high performing services at an affordable level of Council Tax for its residents as one of its key medium term achievements. Several of our services and officers win national awards and recognition for the level of service they achieve across areas as wide as; Local Land Charges, Recycling, Building Control, Electoral Services and Tiverton Pannier Market.
As for most Councils the current health and economic uncertainties impacting our daily operations are particularly challenging, but having accrued sensible levels of reserves and balances, coupled with sound financial governance and control measures and having a well embedded culture of continuous improvement, we are in a strong place to ensure the continued prosperity of our Council and the District that it serves.
Director for Business Improvement and Operations
I have worked in local government, the NHS, Civil Service and in the private sector mostly in the areas of human resource management and general management for about 33 years. I have been with Mid Devon District Council since 2009 and have had some amazing opportunities given to me. I love my job and get great satisfaction from making a difference.
I have worked at a senior level as Head of HR and Learning & Development, Director and Head of Service. I love learning and am a qualified mediator, facilitator and am a Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) which is all about communication and human dynamics, as well as a being a qualified HR professional. I am also a qualified executive coach at ILM level 7 and a Fellow of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development).
My role as Director of Business Transformation and Operations covers off not only new ways of working but also some of the key services for the Council. From Waste and Recycling to Housing and Public Health these are services which matter to the public at large. I am also the Council’s Returning Officer covering all election work for Mid Devon.
Director of Place
I joined Mid Devon as Director of Place in 2021. My role focuses on delivering corporate ambitions in relation to planning, economic development and strategic growth projects – such as Culm Garden Village. I am a Chartered Town Planner, but previous roles in both the private and public sectors have been focused on property development and on facilitating economic growth. Prior to joining Mid Devon, I was the Programme Director for Liveable Exeter for Exeter City Council with strategic oversight over the planning function within Exeter. Prior to that, I was the Head of Regeneration for Bristol City Council with a remit focused on delivering major city centre regeneration projects, the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone and economic development initiatives. I have significant experience in successful partnership working and in unlocking complex and strategic developments to enable inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
I have a BSc in Land Management and a MSc in Urban Planning and Development from the University of Reading.
I have a strong interest in place shaping and enabling and am keen to contribute to the future and long term success of the Mid Devon District by supporting the delivery of key initiatives – to the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors.
District Solicitor and Monitoring Officer
My professional career as a solicitor started at the relatively young age of 24, since when I have worked in the public and private sector for and on occasion, against, various sections of government primarily unitary, county, district and town / parish councils across the south of England. I specialise in local authority governance and planning law.
My work in the area of planning has been wide ranging and interesting. It has involved small scale developments which have had positive life changing implications for the individuals concerned, through to large scale regeneration projects which have revitalised communities. I have, during my 20 years of being a Monitoring Officer for various councils, dealt with a vast array of governance issues affecting local authority decision making. This area of my work centres around ensuring that councils act lawfully and in the public interest. It has involved pursuing court cases to clarify the law, including one housing related case to the Court of Appeal which has remained leading case law for the majority of my career to date. My governance work also comprises helping councils to promote the highest standards of conduct amongst their members; and developing new, improved and streamlined methods of service delivery ,particularly given the financial pressures and increasing service demands faced by local authorities. Not surprisingly, at Mid Devon I am making use of my career experience ultimately, of course, to continuously improve the Council’s services to the public.
To contact any members of the Leadership team, please Contact us.