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undefinedStephen Walford

Chief Executive

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.


Andrew Jarrett

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.

Richard Marsh

Director of Place & Economy

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.

Maria De Leiburne

Director of Legal, HR & Governance (Monitoring Officer)

I joined the council in 2016 as Interim Monitoring Officer and later became the Legal Services Team Leader before holding the position of Operations Manager for Legal and Monitoring. I have recently joined the Leadership Team as District Solicitor and Monitoring Officer.

I undertake a variety of work including prosecutions, governance, employment law, planning issues, licensing, anti-social behaviour and injunctions. As District Solicitor and Monitoring Officer a large proportion of my time is spent in committee meetings, reviewing points of the Constitution, and dealing with code of conduct complaints regarding parish, town or district councillors.

As well as a LLB Law degree and subsequent PgDip Legal Practice Course from the University of Central Lancashire, I have an MA in Criminology, Rights and Justice and a Diploma in Local Government Law and Practice from The Law Society. I also am a qualified HR professional and have a CIPD Intermediate Certificate in HR Management.

In 2020 I was proud to be shortlisted for the Legal Professional of the Year Award, organised by the LLG – the national body representing, promoting and supporting the local government legal sector. I also received an award from the East and Mid Devon Community Safety Partnership in April 2018 for recognition of excellent partnership working to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime in the Tiverton area, as I had obtained the first civil youth injunction in Devon in April 2017.

While Mid Devon District Council is the first local authority I’ve worked in I have enjoyed working in Mid Devon area, both in private practice and in-house, for the past 12 years.

To contact any members of the Leadership team, please Contact us.

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