Harlow Council is set to approve new interim chief executive

Harlow Council / Thu 8th Feb 2024 at 09:17am

HARLOW Council is set to approve the appointment of Yvonne Rees as its interim chief executive.

A special council meeting will be held next Thursday (15 February), where councillors are expected to agree the appointments panel unanimous recommendation to appoint Yvonne Rees for six months with the option to extend the arrangement by a further three months. 

It is also recommended that Yvonne is appointed to the statutory functions of Head of Paid Service, the Returning Officer, and the Electoral Registration Officer.

The proposed interim appointment follows last week’s departure of Andrew Bramidge by mutual agreement.

Yvonne is an experienced council chief executive with an impressive track record in local government. Her most recent experiences were joint Chief Executive of Oxfordshire County and Cherwell District Council from 2018 to 2022 and then Chief Executive of Cherwell District for a year before stepping down to take on a new challenge. Her experience includes:

  • Chair of the District Councils’ Network Chief Executive Group
  • Joint Chief Executive of Cherwell and South Northants Districts
  • Chief Executive of Mole Valley District
  • Strategic Director of Customers and Communities, Surrey County Council
  • Extensive board level experience in public and private sector as well as partnerships
  • Extensive representational positions for councils with government, on government partnerships and across the whole local government sector
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11 Comments for Harlow Council is set to approve new interim chief executive:

Nicholas Taylor
2024-02-08 13:56:05

Clearly Andrews departure must have been known for many months, it would take this long to go through the appointments process. Unless his leaving is due to ill health, then either he was not happy about what is going on in the council, or having only been appointed in 2022, Cllr Swords and his colleagues were not happy with Andrew. We will probably never know because both sides will have signed what is often described as a "gagging order" as part of the leaving agreement.

Matthew Kirkbride
2024-02-08 14:55:38

Sounds like highly accomplished professional with great depth of experience. Really don't understand why Nicholas Taylor always speculates and guesses without any basis or evidence. Spouts nonsense continuously. Small wonder his party hardly get any votes.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-02-08 16:41:53

Matthew, well clearly there was something going on in the Council and lets not forget all the changes/sackings within the Conservative led group in the Council since May 2022. It is clear from talking to many residents in recent months that HAP's message about how the council is being run resonates with many residents. As for nonsense, well anyone supporting any of our political opponents would say that, without any basis or evidence.

Matthew Kirkbride
2024-02-08 18:20:44

Nicholas Taylor, I was a bit harsh. However, I am not too focused on changes/sackings; all I care about are the outcomes: better performance, greater productivity, efficiencies, etc. If someone is not doing the job, get rid of them and put someone in who can do it. That is sound business practice. I think this administration is tackling a lot things that had been left for too long. I am encouraged by what they are trying to do. This town has been neglected for far too long. I really am not too interested in the party politics nonsense; it has little application in local government. I am much more interested in sound administration and management; and from reading about the changes made in HTS and this new interim CEO, it is all looking a lot more professional. We shouldn't get distracted by matters that are peripheral to the outcomes.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-02-08 20:22:23

Matthew, thanks for your latest post. I have to say though that party Politics is at the very heart of local government whether it be how often the bins are emptied, how often the grass is cut and how council homes are allocated to name just a very few. The fact is, in just 21 months since the Tories came to power there have been three CEO in post and three Council Leaders, at least two Portfolio holders sacked and one Councillor who has not participated in any meetings for over 15 months.

Mathew Kirkbride
2024-02-09 08:04:44

Nicholas, that might prove my point. If they Portfolio holders or officers are ineffective, get rid of them. You need the right people who can deliver results. From what O have seen, this administration is performing far better then the previous Labour one . I do not agree about party politics being at the heart. What is needed is management efficiency and value for money. It needs to be run like a business.

Nicholas Taylor
2024-02-09 12:16:57

Mathew, the Portfolio holders are of course Conservative Councillors, who their own Conservative councillor colleagues have voted out. This is what happens when candidates who are not up for the job suddenly find they have been elected and then simply do not have the skills needed . It is an utter disgrace that Cllr Le May, elected in May 2022, sacked from his post as a Portfolio holder post within weeks and has not participated in a council meeting since December 2022. The council has a pot of money, how and where it is spent is up to politicians who are wedded to Westminster and all the political dogma that goes with it. I am afraid that what is often lacking in the Council Chamber is common sense! Whatever you may think of HAP, and my comments on these pages, we are a group of residents who have no political ball and chain and have literally helped hundreds of residents with issues that affect where they live and work.

Matthew Kirkbride
2024-02-09 12:51:52

Nicolas, I hear what you say about Cllr LeMay, but I think this administration is performing much better than Labour. It has restructured HTS, which was terrible and this new CEO certainly has more experience than the previous ones. They now need to stop London boroughs dumping people here.

2024-02-09 17:14:34

I am totally with Nicholas on this. HDC just happen to have appointed a lady who only a few weeks left her previous position, very amicably, it seems from Cherwell's website. Of course, we could be told the truth, then we wouldn't need to speculate, but that seems improbable. If Andrew was "fired" perhaps the selection process and those involved need improvement.

Matthew Kirkbride
2024-02-09 17:42:26

One of the biggest concerns of residents does not relate to the CEO of the council but Harlow being a dumping ground for London boroughs with all the adverse consequences this brings in terms of crime, drugs, anti-social behaviour and the strain on our town's services. Just look at Terminus House. Everyone I know is really concerned and annoyed. This is what needs to be stopped. Nobody wants another Terminus House.

David Forman
2024-02-12 13:30:12

If you look at the Conservative councillors Register of Interests, you will see that three Con councillors have accepted in total £218 of hospitality from HTS Group. All money our tenants could have had for repairs. All subject to questions by me this month and in April. YourHarlow's Editor might even report it?

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