New county council chief executive 'knows what she's letting herself in for'

New county council chief executive Theresa Grant starts at One Angel Square next week
New county council chief executive Theresa Grant starts at One Angel Square next week

Northamptonshire County Council’s new chief executive will start her role next Thursday, with the council leader saying she ‘knows what she’s letting herself in for’.

The appointment of Theresa Grant was formally approved by full council this morning, after she resigned from her nine-year stint as Trafford Council’s chief executive earlier this month to ‘pursue new opportunities’. She had also been responsible for the borough’s clinical commissioning group since April.

On her new role, Theresa said: “Northamptonshire is going through a period of significant change and I’m looking forward to working with both members and officers, as well as colleagues at the borough and district councils, as we navigate our path to unitary authority governance.”

Leader, Councillor Matt Golby told councillors at County Hall this morning that the situation facing the authority ‘remains incredibly critical’, but that he was ‘really pleased’ with the appointment.

He said: “She knows what she’s letting herself in for. The commissioners have spoken with her and I’m looking forward to working with her. We have to lead from the top down, and the appointment of someone substantive will help us do that.

“Health, in particular, is something that we need to get to grips with, and her experience in that area will be superb, and what she’s done with children’s services speaks for itself as she had some very good Ofsted reports. That experience will be valuable.

“The next few months will be very difficult but we can get the right sequences in place to start moving things on.

“Theresa went through a stringent interview process and she came out as the best candidate.”

Although the appointment was voted through unanimously, questions were raised by opposition councillor Dennis Meredith as to whether the county council should be paying both the two government-appointed commissioners as well as a chief executive.

But Councillor Golby said that there was a ‘legal requirement’ for the council to appoint a chief executive.

Outgoing interim chief executive Andrew Quincey, who will leave the day after Theresa Grant joins, was on an annual salary of £165,000, while commissioners Tony McArdle and Brian Roberts are understood to be paid £800 and £700 a day respectively.